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Pope appeals for refugees, defence of human life



(June 19, 2013) Pope Francis on Wednesday made a heartfelt appeal to the world not to be indifferent to the suffering of refugees and their families, and also called for the promotion and defence of human life in all its dimensions and phases. Speaking at the end of his weekly general audience the Pope reminded pilgrims and visitors about the United Nations-sponsored World Day of Refugees, on Thursday, June 20, which this year has as its theme, “Take 1 minute to support a family forced to flee.”
“This year we are invited to consider in a special way the situation of refugee families, who are often forced to leave their home and country in a hurry and lose all their goods and security, to flee violence, persecution or serious discrimination based on religion, ethnicity or political ideas,” the Pope said speaking Italian. He noted that apart from the dangers of their journey, these families often risk disintegration, and in the host country they have to face cultures and societies different from theirs. “We cannot be insensitive to the families and to all our refugee brothers and sisters,” the Pope urged, saying, “we are called to help them, opening ourselves with understanding and hospitality.” The Holy Father hoped that persons and institutions will not fail to help them, reminding all that “on their face is imprinted the face of Christ!”
During the general audience, the Pope also recalled that last Sunday he celebrated the Gospel of Life in St. Peter’s Square, a special event of the Year of Faith. “We celebrated God who is Life and the source of life, Christ who gives us divine life, and the Holy Spirit who maintains in us this vital relationship of being true children of God,” the Pope said. He once more invited all to welcome and witness to the “Gospel of Life” and promote and defend life in all its dimensions and phases. “A Christian is one who says ‘yes’ to life, who says ‘yes’ to God, the Living One,” the Pope added.





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