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Pope calls for prayers ahead of Lesbos migrant visit

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 01:28

Pope Francis is calling on Catholics to pray for migrants as he tells them of his upcoming trip to the Greek island of Lesbos. Rough Cut - Subtitled (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Pope Francis on Wednesday (April 13) announced he would meet migrants stranded on the Greek island of Lesbos on Saturday (April 16) as he addressed the faithful in the Vatican. The pope will travel to Lesbos for one day on Saturday along with Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based spiritual head of the world's Orthodox Christians, and Ieronymos II, head of the Greek Orthodox Church. His visit aims to show support for refugees and draw attention to the front line of Europe's migrant crisis. Hundreds of thousands of refugees, many fleeing war in Syria, have poured onto the Aegean island over the past year, triggering Europe's biggest humanitarian crisis in generations. Under a contested plan, the European Union started returning newcomers to Turkey this month. "Next Saturday I will travel to the island of Lesbos, where in the last months many migrants have transited," Pope Francis said as he addressed crowds at the general audience. "I will go together with my brothers, the Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece, Ieronymos, to show our closeness and solidarity for the migrants and for the citizens of Lesbos and all the Greek people," the pope said. "I ask, please, for your prayers to accompany me and call on the light and strength of the Holy Spirit and the motherly intercession of the Virgin Mary" he said. The pope has repeatedly spoken out in support of refugees and has urged Roman Catholic churches around Europe to take in migrant families. His first trip after he became pontiff in 2013 was to the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, which, like Lesbos, has received many thousands of migrants.

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Pope calls for prayers ahead of Lesbos migrant visit

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 01:28