“I am here to see your faces, to look you in the eyes. “Eyes full of fear and anticipation, eyes that saw violence and poverty”, the Pope characteristically said to the asylum seekers.
The Reception and Identification Center in Kara Tepe in Mytilene was visited this morning by Pope Francis accompanied by the President of the Republic and the Minister of Immigration and Asylum Notis Mitarakis.
“I am here to see your faces, to look you in the eyes. Eyes full of fear and anticipation, eyes that saw violence and poverty. “Anyone who is afraid of you has not seen you in the eyes”, the Pope typically said to the asylum seekers.
He emphasized that migration was a global problem, but also said that “there are people in Europe who insist on treating the problem as if it were a problem that does not concern them.”
“This country,” he continued, referring to Greece, “is in difficulty.” “It is tragic that some people in Europe do not seem to care about refugees,” he said. But while vaccinations are being promoted globally, and something seems to be moving, despite the many delays and uncertainties, in the fight against climate change, everything points to a formidable evasion of immigration. And yet here we are talking about people, about human lives! This is the future of all, which will be peaceful only if it joins. Only if he reconciles with the weakest will the future be auspicious. “Because when the poor are repelled, peace is repelled.”
The Pope, in his speech, insisted on the need for coordinated actions to deal with the refugee, saying that “unilateral actions are not useful, but broad-minded policies. History, I repeat, teaches us, but we have not yet learned it. “Let the backs not turn to reality, let the constant shift of responsibilities stop, let the immigration issue not always be passed on to others, as if no one was interested and it was just a useless burden that one has to shoulder.”
“Brothers, let us not renounce the humanity that unites us. This Sunday I ask God to wake us up. To awaken our deaf hearts. “I thank the people of this island and the country for everything they do,” he said.
“Dealing with immigration is a common responsibility of Europe,” underlined the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, adding with meaning that “no one should ever allow the instrumentalization of immigration.”
16:45 Divine Liturgy at the Athens Concert Hall.
19:00 Ceremonial visit of Archbishop Jerome to the Pope at the Apostolic Nunciature.
08:15 Visit of the Speaker of Parliament, Costa Tassoula, to the Apostolic Nunciatura in Athens.
09:45 Meeting with young people at the Primary School “Agios Dionysios” of the Hellenic French School of Ursulines (Maroussi).
11:15 Farewell ceremony at the international airport “El. Venizelos “.
11:30 Departure for Rome.
On Sunday and from 13:00 to 20:00, the traffic will be stopped:
• in L. V. Sofias in the section between L. Alexandra and V. Alexandrou Street, in the flow of traffic towards the city center, and
• in L.V. Konstantinou in the section between Merkouri and V. Alexandrou streets, in the flow of traffic towards L. V. Sofias.
Drivers of vehicles are kindly requested to follow the instructions of the traffic controllers.
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