Pope meets gypsy family who have been victims of racist attacks and threats

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Pope Francis arrived to the Basilica of St. John Lateran a few minutes before 7pm. 

Before meeting the faithful of the diocese of Rome, he greeted this family.

They are the Omerovic, a gypsy family that have experienced racist insults and threats in a district of Rome. These attacks have been promoted by some fascist groups. However, many of the people in their neighborhood have welcomed this family.

The Omerovics were granted low-rent housing and have been living for days indoors, protected by the police. 

Pope Francis, with this gesture, wanted to express his closeness to this family and his total condemnation of all forms of hatred as well as violence.

The pope then, as Bishop of Rome, listened to the testimonies of various priests and families from his diocese. 

Pope Francis gave a speech without papers in which he warned against racist attitudes.

'Today I met at the Vatican with 500 gypsies and heard their painful experiences of xenophobia. Be attentive because the global cultural phenomenon of populism, at least in European, is growing by sowing fear.”

Finally, the pope reminded Romans that nothing justifies despising other people. He said one who despises and humiliates others will never know how to transmit the values of the Gospel.

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