Pope hails parents who 'flee wars' with their children as 'heroes'
Pope hails parents who ‘flee wars’ with their children for a new life in Europe as ‘heroes’
- Pope Francis has said parents who flee conflict to save their children are ‘heroes’
- ‘I see in them the courage of those who risk their lives for love,’ he said Thursday
- Argentine pontiff has been outspoken in his calls for support for asylum seekers
Pope Francis has hailed parents who ‘flee wars’ with their children for a new life in Europe as ‘heroes’, in an interview published on Thursday.
‘I think of many fathers, many mothers and many families that flee war, who are rejected at the borders of Europe and elsewhere, who experience situations of suffering and injustice and who no one takes seriously or willingly ignores,’ he told Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano.
‘I would like to say to these fathers, to these mothers, that for me they are heroes because I see in them the courage of those who risk their lives for love of their children, for love of their family.’
Pope Francis (pictured holding his weekly general audience on January 12) has hailed parents who ‘flee wars’ with their children for a new life in Europe as ‘heroes’, in an interview published on Thursday
The Argentine pontiff, speaking in an interview published on Thursday, said of migrant parents travelling with their children: ‘I see in them the courage of those who risk their lives for love’
The Argentine pontiff, 85, is outspoken in his calls for support and understanding for migrants and asylum seekers.
He added: ‘I feel very close to the suffering of those families, of those fathers and mothers who are experiencing particular difficulty, worsened above all due to the [Covid-19] pandemic.’
‘I think that not being able to feed one’s children, feeling the responsibility for the life of others, is suffering that is not easy to face. In this regard, my prayers, my closeness but also all the support of the Church is for these people, for these least ones,’ he said.
Pope Francis visited the Greek island of Lesbos, where more than 3,500 asylum seekers reside, for the second time in December, five years after his first visit in 2016.
At the camp, he met dozens of child asylum seekers and relatives standing behind metal barriers and stopped to embrace a boy called Mustafa.
His visit came a day after he delivered a stinging rebuke to the nations of Europe, which he said were ‘torn by nationalist egoism’.
Pope Francis visited the Greek island of Lesbos, where more than 3,500 asylum seekers reside, for the second time in December 5, 2021, five years after his first visit in 2016
‘I am trying to help you,’ Francis told one group through his interpreter during the visit. People later gathered in a tent to sing songs and psalms to the pontiff.
Pope Francis warned at the time that the Mediterranean ‘is becoming a grim cemetery without tombstones’ and that ‘after all this time, we see that little in the world has changed with regard to the issue of migration’.
He said the root causes ‘should be confronted – not the poor people who pay the consequences and are even used for political propaganda’.
The European Union has been locked in a dispute with Belarus over an influx of migrants travelling through the former Soviet state seeking to enter Poland, Lithuania and Latvia in recent months.
Britain and France have also traded barbs over the increasing number of migrants making the deadly Channel crossing to reach the UK in the wake of the November 24 mass drowning which claimed 27 lives.
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