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During General Audience, Pope Francis Has Refugees With Him on Stage

Speaking Off the Cuff, Reminds Faithful That Christians Don’t Exclude, But Welcome Their Suffering Brothers, Sisters

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Christians must not exclude, and are to welcome their suffering brothers and sisters.
Pope Francis stressed this today during his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, where he was accompanied by a group of at least 14 refugees seated near him on the stage.
As Francis read the catechesis, he departed from his text to refer to these refugees taken to Rome by Caritas of Florence and the European University. According to Italian Vatican-news blog IlSismografo, the group was made up of young people from different countries and continents, including from Africa, Asia, Syria and Iraq.
Acknowledging how many refugees are forced to flee from their countries, Francis urged all faithful to be welcoming toward them.
“So many think that it would have been better if they would have remained in their lands, but they were suffering so much there,” Francis told the faithful.
“So many consider them excluded, please: they are our brothers! A Christian doesn’t exclude anyone,” he said.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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