11 C
London
Saturday, January 29, 2022

Greece. Pope Francis visited a refugee center on the island of Lesbos

Must read

- Advertisement -


On the second day of his visit to Greece, Pope Francis visited a refugee center on the island of Lesbos. He said that “respect for people and human rights in Europe should always be protected”. – The humanitarian crisis is a world problem that affects everyone. It is about human life, the future of each of us is at stake – he emphasized.

WATCH TVN24 LIVE ON TVN24 GO

“It is sad to hear about the use of common funds to build walls,” said the Pope on Sunday, who on the second day of his visit to Greece met with refugees on an island that is a symbol of the migration crisis in Europe.

The President of Greece, Ekaterini Sakielaropulu, came with him to the center for the stay and identification of migrants in the area of ​​the city of Mytilene.

Pope: I am here again to meet you

- Advertisement -

During his two-hour visit, the Pope inspected the center and greeted many of the 2,100 refugees there. He blessed the children.

Franciszek, who was on this island in a migrant camp in 2016, emphasized in his speech: – I am here again to meet you, I am here to say that I am close to you. I am here to see your faces, to look into your eyes.

These, he added, are eyes full of fear and expectation. Eyes that have seen violence and poverty, eyes carved with too many tears.

The Pope on the island of Lesbos LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / PAP / EPA

The Pope recalled the words spoken on the island five years ago by the ecumenical head of Orthodoxy, Patriarch Bartholomew, who declared: “Those who fear you have not seen your eyes. Those who fear you have not seen your faces.”

Following the patriarch, Francis continued that it is being forgotten that migration is not a problem of the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and Greece, but a problem of (the whole) world. “The humanitarian crisis is a world problem that affects everyone,” added the Pope. it is about human life, the stake is the future of each of us, which will be peaceful only when it is integrated – he emphasized.

Pope in a refugee center on the island of Lesbos ALESSANDRO DI MEO / PAP / EPA

An appeal to the international community

Francis also said that “history teaches us that confinement and nationalism lead to disastrous consequences.” He considered it “an illusion” to think that it is enough to “protect oneself, protect oneself from the weakest who knock on the door”. “The future will bring us even closer together,” he assessed.

Francis also appealed to the international community. – Let us end the constant shifting of responsibilities, let us not entrust the issue of migration to others. As if no one cares about them and they are just a useless burden that someone has to bear, ‘he announced. He asked everyone: – Let us overcome the paralysis of fear, the indifference that kills, the cynical lack of interest through which, in white gloves, we condemn those on the margins to death.

Francis pointed out that one must oppose the thoughts around one’s “I”, “around individual and national egoism, which becomes the measure and criterion of everything”. In the five years since his visit to Lesbos, he said, little has changed with regard to migration.

He thanked those who were involved in the admission and integration of immigrants.

Pope in a refugee center on the island of Lesbos ANSA / VATICAN MEDIA / PAP / EPA

You can’t solve problems by “erecting barriers”

Referring to Greece, he stated. – However, we must bitterly admit that this country, like others, is still pressed against the wall, and that there are those in Europe who stubbornly treat this problem as a matter that does not concern them.

The Pope quoted the Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. – When human life is threatened, when human dignity is threatened, national borders become irrelevant.

The Pope on the island of Lesbos ANSA / VATICAN MEDIA / PAP / EPA

As he noted, in different societies security and solidarity, local and universal dimensions, tradition and openness are opposed “in an ideological way”.

– It is easy to draw public opinion with you, arousing fear of other people; why are we not, instead, in the same spirit talking about the exploitation of the poor, about forgotten wars that are often lavishly financed, about economic deals made at the expense of the people, about secret maneuvers to trade and spread arms? Francis asked.

He pointed out that the causes of migration should be tackled, “not poor people who suffer the consequences or are even used for the purposes of political propaganda.”

The Pope on the island of Lesbos ANSA / VATICAN MEDIA / PAP / EPA

An appeal to consciences

The Pope appealed to consciences not to run away from the terrifying images of the bodies of children lying on the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. “Please, let’s stop this sinking of civilization,” he called. This appeal sounded particularly strong in Italian because the Pope used the word meaning “shipwreck” in that language.

– Otherwise, God is offended, man, created in His image, is despised, and man is left at the mercy of the waves, in the depths of indifference, sometimes justified even by alleged Christian values, he warned.

Faith – as he recalled – requires compassion and mercy. – This is not a religious ideology. These are specific Christian roots – he added.

Main photo source: ALESSANDRO DI MEO / PAP / EPA



Source link

More articles

- Advertisement -

Latest article