Pope urges nations to welcome refugees

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Pope urges nations to welcome refugees

Pope Francis talks with journalists aboard a plane, at the end of his visit to Geneva on June 21, 2018, for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches. – Pope Francis came at the invitation of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which was created in 1948 and groups 350 Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican churches from more than 100 countries around the world, with around half a billion believers among them. (Photo by Ciro FUSCO / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read CIRO FUSCO/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis is urging the nations of the world to take in as many refugees as possible.

The pontiff told reporters aboard the papal plane that he believes it is incumbent on governments to “welcome, to accompany, to place, to integrate” as many refugees as their societies can reasonably accommodate.

“Each country must do this with the virtue of government, which is prudence, and take in as many refugees as it can, as many as it can integrate, educate, give jobs to,” Francis said during the in-flight press conference, according to The Associated Press.

“We are living through a flood of refugees who are fleeing war and hunger,” the pope said.

More than 33,000 people have risked their lives to reach Europe by sea in 2018 so far, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. About 771 are estimated to have drowned during the journey.

Francis was responding to a journalist’s question aboard the papal airplane during a trip back to Rome from Geneva.

A reporter asked him to share his thoughts on the current crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the influx of migrants attempting to enter Europe.

The pope reaffirmed his support for U.S. Catholic bishops who have spoken out against President Donald Trump’s policy of separating families who attempt to enter the U.S. illegally.

“I am behind what the bishops say,” the pope said. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the tactic “immoral.”

On Wednesday, Trump reversed the policy, signing an executive order so that immigrant families could be detained together.


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