Sunday, September 6, 2015

Pope calls on Catholics to shelter Europe's migrants

USA Today
September 6, 2015

BERLIN — Pope Francis called on religious communities and Catholic parishes across Europe on Sunday to take on the crush of migrants that have been pouring into the continent recently.
He said the Vatican will shelter two families who are "fleeing death."
Francis cited Mother Teresa, the European-born nun who cared for the poorest in India, in making his appeal. "Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger, and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope," Francis said, adding that it's not enough to say, "Have courage, hang in there."
The pope’s plea comes as thousands more refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria and Afghanistan were expected to arrive in Austria and Germany on Sunday. The migrants were traveling from Hungary where they had been stranded for days as European leaders debate how to best handle the surge. 
On Saturday, about 7,000 people crossed the border on foot from Hungary to Austria. A similar amount arrived into Munich's central train station by Saturday evening.

"I appeal to the parishes, the religious communities, the monasteries and sanctuaries of all Europe to ... take in one family of refugees," Pope Francis said after his Sunday address in the Vatican, according to Reuters.

There are more than 25,000 parishes in Italy alone, and more than 12,000 in Germany, where many of the Syrians fleeing civil war and people trying to escape poverty and hardship in other countries say they want to end up.

The pope’s call was another in a series of recent public interventions by the Vatican to end conflicts and reconcile differences between countries, from Mideast peace meetings to brokering talks between the U.S. and Cuba.

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