Following Pope Francis

Following Pope Francis September 7, 2015

Inés San Martin:

ROME — In light of the massive refugee crisis in Europe, Pope Francis announced Sunday that he will give temporary housing in the Vatican to at least two refugee families and asked that every European parish, monastery, and shrine do the same.

The pontiff said the two parish churches contained within the walls of the Vatican city-state, St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Anne’s, will welcome at least one refugee family each.

“Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing war, death, and hunger, who are on their way toward life’s hope, the Gospel calls us to be near to the smallest and abandoned,” the pontiff said.

Francis’ announcement came in remarks to pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly Angelus prayer.

Thousands of migrants and refugees streamed into Germany and Austria over the weekend after being stuck in Hungary for days.

The International Organization for Migration estimates that more than 350,000 migrants arrived at the European Union’s borders between January and August this year. Some believe those estimates are low: According to Eurostat, 662,000 people applied for asylum in the EU in 2014.

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