Pope to nations: Act fast to stop more migrant deaths at sea

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is appealing for swift, decisive action by governments so that more migrants don’t die at sea.

Francis on Sunday bowed his head in silent prayer for the migrants, perhaps as many as 150, who perished last week in the Mediterranean Sea in shipwrecks of smugglers’ boats near the Libyan coast. He invited the faithful in St. Peter’s Square to join him in praying for the victims and their families.

His appeal to the international community came hours after an Italian coast guard boat, with some 130 rescued migrants aboard, docked in Sicily. Italy, however, isn’t letting the migrants disembark unless other nations agree to take them.

The pontiff urged nations to “act promptly and decisively to avoid a repeat of similar tragedies and guarantee the safety and dignity of everybody.”

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