Has the Pope gone soft in the head or does he have a point about the refugees? Give use your thoughts below.
Pope Francis today rescued a dozen Syrian refugees from a camp in Lesbos and brought them back to Rome following a visit to the Greek island to highlight the humanitarian crisis.
Three families of Syrian refugees boarded the Pontiff’s aircraft shortly after 1pm at the end of his lightening visit to Lesbos.
A Vatican spokesman said: ‘The Pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children.’
The Vatican said Pope Francis wanted to ‘make a gesture of welcome’ to the three families who arrived in the camp before the new EU deal with Turkey was implemented on March 20.
It is understood that paperwork for the 12 people, including six children, was arranged in advance.
The Vatican will take responsibility for supporting the families. But the Catholic Sant’Egidio community will take care of getting them settled initially.
While on Lesbos, Pope Francis blasted people smugglers and arms traffickers who he blamed for worsening the current refugee crisis in Europe.
Addressing a large group of asylum seekers in a reception camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis said migrants were not numbers but people with ‘faces, names and individual stories’ who were prayed upon by ‘unscrupulous thugs’.