“I appeal to the parishes, the religious communities, the monasteries and sanctuaries of all Europe to take in one family of refugees,” he said.
The Pontiff added that it is not enough to say “have courage, hang in there” to the refugees making the dangerous journey into Europe. He also said that two parishes in the Vatican will each take in a family of refugees in the coming days.
Pope Francis said the call to action is a “concrete gesture” to prepare for the extraordinary Holy Year on the theme of mercy, which will begin on December 8.
The call goes out to tens of thousands of Catholic parishes in Europe. There are more than 25,000 parishes in Italy alone, and more than 12,000 in Germany, where many of the refugees are hoping to settle. His Sunday’s comments come as Europe battles the worst refugee crisis since World War 11.
Over 350,000 refugees have already crossed into Europe and around 200,000 more are expected to arrive.