The Cutro shipwreck becomes the Via Crucis with a thousand people: “The Mediterranean is an increasingly larger cemetery”


By John

«Unfortunately among us there are those who would like to naively resolve the issue of migratory flows by working to block the masses of desperate people who are looking for a better future. Tomorrow in the celebration of the Eucharist there will be a passage from the universal judgment and Matthew says that we will be judged by how we have treated the hungry, the thirsty, the prisoners. The final exam of our life will be on welcoming the poor.” The bishop of Crotone, Monsignor Angelo Raffaele Panzetta, said itat the conclusion of the diocesan Via Crucis – in which a thousand people participated – organized this afternoon in Steccato di Cutro where a year ago, on 26 February 2023, the massacre of migrants occurred caused by the shipwreck of a boat in which 94 died people including 35 minors.

«We are here – explained the bishop – to pray for the people who have lost their lives here in our sea, for those men and women who still face enormous dangers to ensure a different future for their children. We are here to reflect and, with humility and strength, to say that unfortunately the Pope’s words on the Cutro affair have not been listened to. The Pope said ‘let’s make sure that this tragedy is not repeated’. Have we done so? These events continue to happen and the Mediterranean is becoming a bigger cemetery. We need to work for a supportive, shared, structural response between institutions and countries ». A thousand people, coming from all the parishes of the Crotone diocese, they carried out the Via Crucis behind a cross made with the wood of the ship wrecked in Cutro. During the various stations, reflections and testimonies of migrants collected over the years through the Caritas offices were read. The mayor of Cutro, Antonio Ceraso, and the imam of the Cutro mosque, Mustapha Achik, took part in the Via Crucis alongside the bishop. The long procession reached the beach of Steccato di Cutro not far from the point where the shipwreck occurred where the last station was characterized by an important reflection from the bishop: «Looking at this sea, we must all beat our chests, no one excluded , because we have the responsibility to generate around us a climate of welcome, of brotherhood, of respect, of friendship.” The final testimony was that of Vincenzo Luciano, the fisherman who was the first to intervene to rescue the shipwrecked people in which an appeal is made to politics: «It seems that in 10 years, from Lampedusa to Cutro, nothing has changed: people continue to die at sea. As a non-expert I can’t give advice, I’ll only say one thing: let’s learn to be more human. I would like to tell the Italian and European governments that those who leave are our children, they are equal to us, let’s learn to be more human and you will see that the law is found.” Before the final blessing, Bishop Panzetta added: «we are here shouting that the inclusive brotherhood that the Gospel asks of us is the only way to address these problems. We do not welcome out of fear, out of difficulty in imagining and planning a future. I confirm what I said last year: we are hungry for men. The arrival of migrants, those who desire to work and live with dignity, constitutes a prospect of well-being for the area. We need foresight to plan things and a change of mentality.”