Pope Francis has concluded his day trip to the Greek island of Lesbos and has concretely showed solidarity to refugees not only through his discourses and by signing a joint declaration, but by bringing three refugee families with him to Rome.
According to a statement made by Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office, the Pope took with him three refugee families on his way back aboard the papal flight.
“The Pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children,” the statement noted.
“These are all people who were already in camps in Lesbos before the agreement between the European Union and Turkey.”
The Pope’s initiative, Fr. Lombardi pointed out, was brought to fruition through negotiations carried out by the Secretariat of State with the competent Greek and Italian authorities.
All the members of the three families are Muslims. Two families come from Damascus, and one from Deir Azzor, in the area occupied by the terrorist group Daesh.
The homes of the refugee families had been bombed.
The Vatican will take responsibility for bringing in and maintaining the three families, the communique said, stating that the initial hospitality will be taken care of by the Community of Sant’Egidio.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Words on Papal Flight to Lesbos: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-remarks-to-journalists-on-way-to-lesbos/
Discourse to Refugees: https://zenit.org/articles/pope-francis-address-at-moria-refugee-camp-in-lesbos/
Joint Declaration: https://zenit.org/articles/joint-declaration-signed-in-lesbos/
Address to Civil Authorities:https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-civil-authorities-in-lesbos/