On Sunday, Pope Francis, addressing thousands in St. Peter’s Square, asked every European parish, religious community, monastery, and sanctuary to shelter refugees. It is not enough to say, “Have courage, hang in there,” the pope said.
“Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger, and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbors to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope,” Frances said, asking bishops in Europe to have their dioceses “express the Gospel in concrete terms and take in a family of refugees.”
“May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe host a family, starting with my diocese of Rome,” he continued.
Two of the Vatican’s parishes, Frances said, will take in two families. According to the Associated Press, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman, quoted the pope’s chief alms-giver as saying the Vatican has not yet decided which families will be hosted.