VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Flanked by a group of refugees, Pope Francis appealed to Christians to care for and welcome those whom society often excludes.
“Today I’m accompanied by these young men. Many people think they would have been better off if they had stayed in their homelands, but they were suffering so much there. They are our refugees, but many people consider them excluded. Please, they are our brothers,” the pope said June 22 during his weekly general audience.
The group, holding a banner that stated “Refugees for a better future together,” caught the pope’s attention as he was making his way to the stage in St. Peter’s Square. He signaled them to come forward and instructed aides to allow them to sit in the shade on the stage.
In his main talk, the pope discussed the Gospel story of the leper who begged Jesus to heal him, saying: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”