Church: Pope reiterates concern for migrants, refugees

Pope Francis sent a message to a June 5-8 international symposium entitled, “Toward a Greener Attica: Preserving the Planet and Protecting its People,” in Athens, Greece, sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In his message addressed to the symposium participants and host, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of some 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, Pope Francis recalled his visit to the Greek island of Lesbos on April 16, 2016, during which he together with Patriarch Bartholomew and Orthodox Archbishop Hieronymus II of Athens, expressed their concern and closeness to migrants and refugees stranded there, pending processing of their application for asylum..

The Holy Father noted that “it is not just the homes of vulnerable people around the world that are crumbling, as can be seen in the growing exodus of climate migrants and environmental refugees,” but as he pointed out in his environmental Encyclical “Laudato Si”, they are also “condemning future generations to live in a common home that is reduced to ruins.”

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