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Lamenting West’s indifference to refugees, Pope departs from Cyprus

December 06, 2021

The Pope’s final address in Cyprus during his five-day apostolic journey to Cyprus and Greece took place at an ecumenical Christian prayer service with migrants.

The prayer service, which took place at a parish in Nicosia (the capital of Cyprus), included Scripture readings and prayers in English, French, Greek, and Italian, with the psalm response in Latin. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem (whose jurisdiction extends to Cyprus) and the Maronite Catholic Patriarch were among those in attendance.

Referring to refugees rejected by European nations, the Pope said, “I think too of all those people who had to return because they were turned away and ended up in concentration camps, real concentration camps, where the women have been sold, and men tortured and enslaved. We are appalled when we read stories of the concentration camps of the last century, those of the Nazis or those of Stalin, and we say: ‘How could this possibly have happened?’ Brothers and sisters, it is happening today, on nearby coasts!”

“Such is the story of this developed civilization that we call the West,” he continued. “Barbed wire is set up to prevent the entrance of refugees, those who come in search of freedom, food, assistance, fraternity, joy, those fleeing from hatred but then find themselves facing a form of hatred called barbed wire. May the Lord awaken the conscience of us all before these realities.”


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