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Pope Francis to visit refugee center in Rome

Catholic World News - August 28, 2013

Pope Francis will visit Centro Astalli, a Jesuit center for refugees in Rome, according to L’Osservatore Romano.

Father Giovanni La Manna, SJ, director of the center and country director for Jesuit Refugee Services, told the Vatican newspaper that the Pope called him on April 6 in response to a written invitation to visit and recently called him again to arrange the date, which has not been announced.

Referring to the Italian island visited by Pope Francis in July--an island that thousands of African refugees have tried to reach--Father La Manna said that “there is less poetry here than in Lampedusa.”

“Rome is a second landing place,” he observed. “There is the difficulty of daily life that consists of so much bureaucracy and constant shortages due to a crisis for which the lowliest pay the highest price. Indeed, the resources we would like in order to give a dignified response to the refugees’ needs are not always available.”

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