Italian media are in shock after Pope Francis’ twitter feed was flooded with insults after he asked Catholics to pray for migrants.
“Migrants are first of all human persons, and that they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society,” he had tweeted.
Italians responded to him that he should consider ‘returning to Avignon’ (referring to the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon, France, rather than in Rome).
Italians, who voted in great number for the anti-immigrant party of Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister, leader of the Lega Nord and the country’s most popular politician, replied to the pope saying that they had enough of migrants and some even tweeted out insults to him personally.
Furthermore, Italy’s leading newspaper, La Republicca, claimed that the country’s Catholic population was now at a crossroads as to whom they should follow: the Pope or Salvini.
Matteo Salvini himself tweeted out the image, and asked ‘what kind of question is this?’
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The Pope and Mr Salvini are at odds how the country is now handling the migrant crisis.
Italy intends to invest more heavily in resisting migrant arrivals by sea, and on Monday Salvini announced his desire to deploy military ships and air patrols to keep migrants away from Italy.
The country will also give 10 motorboats to the Libyan coastguard so that smugglers’ vessels can be caught before they get to international waters.