VATICAN CITY (TheBlaze/AP) — Pope Francis has encouraged Europeans to welcome refugees, calling authentic hospitality “our greatest security against hateful acts of terrorism.”
Francis Saturday spoke to alumni of Jesuit schools in Europe who were in Rome for a conference on refugees.
The pope said: “I encourage you to welcome refugees into your homes and communities, so that their first experience of Europe is not the traumatic experience of sleeping cold on the streets, but one of warm welcome.”
Telling his audience that more than 65 million persons are forcibly displaced around the world, he advised going “beyond mere statistics.”
He said each refugee “has a name, a face and a story, as well as an inalienable right to live in peace and to aspire to a better future” for their children.
Francis has long been an advocate of offering hospitality to refugees, irregardless of ethnicity or religion. Earlier this year, he even brought 12 Syrian refugees to the Vatican City after a visit to Greece, a country that has seen a huge influx of migrants.