Pope’s Humanity: Three Syrian families given asylum in Rome.
Pope Francis's visit to the Greek Island of Lesbos, last Saturday, to meet with migrants, has been well-publicized. He wanted the world to take note of the ongoing migrant crisis. On top of that, in a remarkable gesture of humanity, he invited three Syrian migrant families to go with him back to Italy. The families will be given asylum in Italy. The Vatican has already taken responsibility for the three families. Pope Francis called his gesture as a drop in the ocean, however, as he hopes that the ocean will never be the same again. The Pontiff is hoping that his gesture will prompt the European countries to open their borders for migrants.
Pope Francis has been on a quest to resolve the European migrant crisis ever since it began in 2015. For the past year, he has been repeatedly requesting the European Union to provide asylum to the refugees. When asked about Europe's plan to send the refugees back to Turkey, Pope Francis called on the European Union to enact policies to welcome the migrants, provide jobs, and integrate them. He said that the government is responsible for welcoming migrants. According to Thomas J. Reese, a senior analyst with the National Catholic Reporter, Pope Francis is telling Europe that by closing their doors in the face of the migrants, “it is denying its Christian roots.”
Lesbos has been the primary gateway for the migrants to Europe. By just visiting the Island, Pope Francis succeeded in making a dramatic statement to the world. Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece, tagged the Pope's visit as “historic.” He said that the visit came at a time when some Christian countries have been erecting fences and walls to keep defenseless people from seeking a better life. Pope Francis was given a hero's welcome at the Moria detention facility. The 3,000 or so men, women, and children held in the facility cheered and clapped for the Pontiff. Pope, on the other hand, not only met with them but also sat down for lunch with them as well. He collected paintings from the children who had made them especially for him, to put on his desk.
One of Syria's 4,837,572 refugees – two-year-old Riyad was brought to Rome by Pope Francis: pic.twitter.com/9dyHFzSY93
— Rosie Scammell (@rosiescammell) April 18, 2016
The spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and Ieronymos II, the Archbishop of Greece, also accompanied Pope Francis during his visit. The three religious men threw laurel wreaths into the sea in remembrance of the hundreds of migrant lives lost during their voyage to Europe.