Pope’s planned visit to Lesvos lays bare divisions over migrants

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Pope’s planned visit to Lesvos lays bare divisions over migrants

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By: Karolina Tagaris | ekathimerini.com| 1 December 2021|

Pope’s planned visit to Lesvos lays bare divisions over migrants

Lucia Marcano was attending mass last month in the Catholic church on Lesvos when around 50 asylum-seekers from the island’s migrant camp turned up, having heard that Pope Francis was due to visit.

“They came because they thought the pope would take them,” said Marcano, part of a small Catholic community there.

Five years ago on his previous trip to the Greek island then on the front line of Europe’s refugee crisis, Francis took three Syrian refugee families with him back to Rome.

Moria, the squalid and dangerously overcrowded camp he walked through that day, burned to the ground last year, having become a symbol of Europe’s stumbling response to a crisis whose burden fell disproportionately on a handful of islands on its borders.

Francis visits Lesvos again on Sunday to deliver a message of unity. “They are our brothers and sisters,” he said of refugees ahead of his trip to Cyprus and Greece.

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