As thousands of refugees pour into Europe, Pope Francis has called on every parish and religious community to take in one family each.
He said the Vatican state would set the example, with its two parishes each taking in a family of refugees in the coming days.
There are more than 25,000 parishes in Italy alone, and some 12,000 in Germany, where many refugees fleeing war and hardship in the Middle East hope to end up.
“Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees, the Gospel calls us and asks us to show solidarity to the most vulnerable and those who have been abandoned — to give them a real hope,” Pope Francis said after his Sunday address in the Vatican.
The crowd in St. Peter’s Square applauded the pontiff, himself the son of Italian emigrants to Argentina, as he said: “Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family.”
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