July 4, 2020

The 33 pope refugees arrive in Rome to start a new life

A group of 33 asylum seekers arrived in Rome today from the camps on the Greek island of Lesbos to be welcomed by the Vatican and the Community of Sant'Egidio, in an initiative that follows the express wish of Pope Francis himself.

The refugees arrived at the Roman airport of Fiumicino: they are several families, some with their babies in their arms, from different countries of the world, such as Afghanistan, Cameroon or Togo.

His arrival in Italy came according to the Italian Ministry of Interior and through a humanitarian corridor from the island of Lesbos, where they lived in refugee camps, and another group of ten people is expected in the coming days.

At the airport they were waiting for the representatives of the two entities that will be in charge of their welcome and integration: the founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio, Andrea Riccardi, and the almsman of the pope, the Polish cardinal Konrad Krajewski.

The latter in a press conference addressed the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, to cardinals, bishops, presbyters and religious, to open "the convents and monasteries" and welcome in each one "at least one family" for " empty "refugee camps.

"Let us open our houses and our palaces, there is space, and there are also resources," said the cardinal, following the recommendation of the Pope to allocate the real estate of the Church to the reception of the needy.

Among the people who arrived in Rome today is Essoessinam, a young Christian woman from Togo; Afghan Said Mohammad, accompanied by his wife and three-year-old daughter, and Kasra, another 2-year-old Afghan boy whom they call "Ciccio" in the group, reports the Vatican.

The Pope asked his beggar a few months ago to travel to Lesbos to renew his solidarity with the Greek people and refugees, in memory of the trip he made in April 2016 and after which he returned on the same plane with twelve refugees belonging to three families .

At that time, negotiations between competent agencies began to accommodate another group of refugees on the island, and finally the Italian Ministry of Interior authorized this humanitarian corridor.

Therefore, the beggar traveled to Lesbos last Monday to, together with some people in charge of the Community of Sant'Egidio, bring to Italy a first group of 33 people.

(tagsToTranslate) refugees (t) arrive (t) Rome (t) start (t) new

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