(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday met with members of the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR Med) – known as Operation Sophia – which has been tasked to stop people smuggling across the Mediterranean Sea.
The delegation - which was at the General Audience - was accompanied by Bishop Domenico Sigalini, the secretary for the Commission on Migration for the Italian Bishop’s Conference.
The officers gave Pope Francis a commemorative plate reading “Operation Sophia – a message of hope in the central Mediterranean.”
Pope Francis has often called for more action to save migrants attempting the dangerous crossing over the Mediterranean.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said at least 5000 people died last year attempting the journey.