Pope Francis has denounced the “sordid agreements” the European Union (EU) has made with Libya to turn back migrants and said Europe must show humanity in welcoming them, calling for the Mediterranean to be a “theater of solidarity, not the harbinger of a tragic shipwreck of civilization.”

Upon his visit to Malta and in a meeting with Maltese President, the Pope condemned the Libyan detention facilities as concentration camps, but he went further Saturday to shame the EU for its complicity in the abuses there.

"Civilized countries cannot approve for their own interest sordid agreements with criminals who enslave other human beings.” He said.

Pope Francis was referring to the EU's program to train Libya’s coast guard, which patrols the country’s coast for migrant smuggling and brings the would-be refugees back to shore. The program was strongly backed by Italy and other front-line Mediterranean countries to try to stem the flow of hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants each year.