Twelve Muslim refugees from Lesbos camp returned home with the Pope aboard his plane.
Pope Francis visited a Muslim Refugee detention camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Saturday, where over 3,000 migrants are being held, many of them facing deportation back to Turkey. He told the camp’s residents: “Do not lose hope. The greatest gift we can offer to one another is love.”
The Pope’s visit with intended to put pressure on the rest of the world to be more welcoming of the refugees – and to prove his point, he brought twelve of them back home with him – all of them Muslims.
A Vatican statement verified that three families returned to Rome with the Pope, aboard the papal plane – including six children and six adults.
According to the statement, an agreement to allow the twelve migrants to depart for Italy was worked out among the Vatican and Greek and Italian officials. The Vatican has agreed to assume responsibility for the care of the twelve people, with the initial care being provided by the Community of Sant’Egidio, one of the “new movements” in the Catholic Church.
Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office said, “The pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees.
According to BBC News, in September, the Pope made space in the Vatican apartments for two refugee families, urging Catholics across Europe to play their part to resolve the crisis.
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