Pope, 'we pray in silence' for those who denied migrants help

  VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has harshly condemned the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean - in which well over 100 migrants are thought to have drowned after a shipwreck - saying, "I confess that I am greatly saddened by the tragedy that has once again taken place in the Mediterranean in the last few days. 130 migrants dead at sea."

  Speaking in St Peter's Square on Sunday, he continued, "they are people, they are human lives, that for two days had been beggind for help in vain: help that never arrived. Brothers and sisters, we must question ourselves on this umpteenth tragedy. It is a moment for shame. We pray for our brothers and sisters, and for so many that continue to die on these dramatic voyages. We pray also for those that can help, but prefer to look the other way. We pray in silence for them."

  This is not the first time the pope has spoken about the migrant crisis, but he used noticeably harsher tones on this occasion.

  He prayed also for the 82 dead and many more wounded in the fire at the Ibn al Khatib hospital in Baghdad, and expressed "closeness to the people of the islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, where a volcanic eruption is causing damage and hardship. I assure them of my prayers. I bless those who provide help and assistance."