Pope Francis expressed his “pain and shame” over the deaths of migrants found in the English Channel on Monday, calling on those responsible to bear “responsibility” for their deaths.
In an interview with Il Corriere della Sera, the Argentine pontiff said authorities must protect migrants and their rights.
Pope Francis: ‘What we are going through now, I don’t see a way out of it’
“I am here before you as a pastor, I am also here as a witness, I have been horrified by the cruelty of death. I have been wounded by the sight of others who have been made objects by the human heart,” the pontiff said.
“I am a man of words, I can only express my pain and shame. At what is happening we must bear responsibility to control situations in which this might happen,” he said.
He cited a message he read during Easter Mass to migrant families.
“We know that a human being is made for a certain place. It would be my redemptive love to call to God all those who have no place in this world.”
Related: Families of migrants who perished in English Channel demand justice
The comments came after Irish relatives of two young men killed trying to reach England told CNN they want to know why the men were allowed to take a boat with 50 other migrants toward the coast of Britain.
What the migrants were hoping to achieve remained unclear Monday, though the decision to cross the ocean via the English Channel is a risky one.
Britain’s maritime authorities are responsible for border protection off its coasts.
Pope Francis does not live in the Vatican. Instead, he has been meeting homeless people on the Vatican’s periphery for the past year.
About 3 million tourists visit the Vatican annually.