Pope Francis called for more openness and creation of humanitarian corridors to accommodate more migrants

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Holy Father visited a refugee camp in Bologna

Photo: Reuters

Pope Francis called for faster and safer reception of refugees during his Sunday's visit to Cesena and Bologna in Italy.

The Pope visited one of the largest migrant camps in Bologna that houses hundreds of migrants waiting for their asylum applications to be processed, or already ordered out of the country, among them families with children.

The Holy Father tied the yellow ribbon of the camp to his wrist and shook hands with the mostly African migrants calling them "fighters of hope".

He told camp's residents and the social workers working in the camp that he deliberately visited the camp to meet migrants who came to the "harbor" from far away places risking so much that others couldn't even imagine.

Many people do not know you and are afraid of you. They think they are right when they judge you, and they do it from a distance; but only those understand your situation who look at you with compassionate eyes said the Pope.

He stressed that the phenomenon of migration requires "foresight and great determination to tackle the phenomenon adding that "more countries should launch reception programs using private and community funds and open humanitarian corridors for the refugees to avoid long waiting lists to develop at the borders and wasting of the refugees' time.

After, the pope dined with the poor, a group of refugees and prisoners in the largest Bologna basilica dedicated to Saint Petronius. These people are the ones that the Church wants to put in focus, he said - "the Church belongs to everyone, especially to the poor." He then, added that Christ never abandons anyone, "we are all wanderers, and beggars of love and hope."

(MTI -


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