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In his Easter message, Pope condemns failure to help migrants

Pope Francis has condemned those who fail to help migrants, during his traditional Easter speech in Rome.

The Pope said migrants often met “rejection from those who could offer them welcome and assistance”.
He also condemned terrorism as “a blind and brutal violence” that should be fought with “weapons of love”.

The Pope was delivering his “urbi et orbi” (To the city and the world) message to thousands amid tight security in St Peter’s Square.

The Pope said: “The Easter message of the risen Christ… invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees… fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice.

“All too often, these brothers and sisters of ours meet along the way with death or, in any event, rejection by those who could offer them welcome and assistance.”

Tens of thousands of migrants, mainly fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq, are now stranded in Greece, after European nations and Turkey agreed a plan to shut their route to northern Europe.
Pope Francis also offered a prayer for Syria: “The risen Christ points out paths of hope to beloved Syria, a country torn by a lengthy conflict with its sad wake of destruction, death, contempt for humanitarian law and the breakdown of civil concord.”

He expressed his hope for success at peace scheduled to resume next month.

The Pope also urged people to use the “weapons of love” to combat the evil of terrorism.

He spoke of recent attacks in Belgium, Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Iraq.
“May [the risen Jesus Christ] draw us closer on this Easter feast to the victims of terrorism, that blind and brutal form of violence which continues to shed blood in different parts of the world,” he said (text in Italian).

The latest terror attack – in Brussels on Tuesday – left 28 people dead. The former king and queen of Belgium, Albert II and Paola, attended the Mass on Sunday and met the Pope.

Many pilgrims cancelled their planned trips to Rome in the wake of the violence in Brussels, but the square was packed on Sunday, as was St Peter’s Basilica when Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Saturday evening.

In his homily in the basilica, he called on Christians not to let fear and pessimism “imprison” them.
He said: “Today is the celebration of our hope. It is so necessary today.”

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OTHER NEWS

Far too many homeless people still not safely housed, say charities

"Far too many" homeless people are still on the streets, in shelters and hostels, despite the Government aiming to have all rough sleepers safely housed by last weekend. Last week the Government asked local authorities to do everything to "get everyone in" by the end...

Pope encourages Catholics to contemplate ‘seven sorrows’ of Mary

On the Friday before Holy Week, Pope Francis asked people to keep a long tradition of Catholic piety by focusing on "the suffering and sorrows of Our Lady." "Honour Our Lady and say, 'This is my mother,' because she is mother. This is the title that she received from...

Let’s get back to nature

Top gardening influencer Ellen Mary reveals how families can reconnect with nature in their own garden. By Hannah Stephenson. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, there’s lots of ways you and your family could enjoy it – and connect with nature and benefit...

How to make the most from your daily exercise

The government has announced strict new measures for tackling coronavirus. Now in lockdown in an effort to beat the virus, Boris Johnson announced last week that we are only allowed to leave the house for the following reasons: Shopping for basic necessities One form...