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Pope Francis: Total number of refugees is now larger than the entire population of Italy!

2016-09-19

Pope Francis spoke about one of his favorite passions: hospitality toward refugees. He addressed the European Confederation and World Union of Jesuit Alumni and Alumnae who were convening in Rome for a conference on refugees and immigration crisis. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Tragically, in the world today more than 65 million people were forced to leave their places of residence. This unprecedented number goes beyond imagination. The total number of refugees is now larger than the entire population of Italy!”

Pope Francis said that each refugee is not just a number, but a person with a name, a face, a story. He said they each have a right to live and hope for a better future.

POPE FRANCIS
"I encourage you therefore to welcome the refugees into your homes and communities, so that their first experience of Europe is not so traumatic as to sleep in the cold in the streets, but that of warmth and humanity. Remember that authentic hospitality is a profound Gospel value, that nurtures love and is our greatest security against the hateful acts of terrorism.”

With this spirit of welcoming, he asked that all attendees could help the Church through "acts of mercy” to "promote their integration” into not only Europe, but the world at large. 


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