By ALISON SMALE
September 6, 2015
VIENNA — Pope Francis on Sunday called on every parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to shelter refugees fleeing “death from war and hunger,” adding that the Vatican’s two parishes will lead the way by taking in two families.
In a speech to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square, the pope said it was not enough to say “have courage, hang in there” to those marching towards what he described as “life’s hope.”
It was the pontiff’s first direct message to Europe — and the world — about how to embrace and integrate the largest mass migration Europe has seen since the end of World War II.
From Greece to Germany, thousands of refugees remained on the move, packing boats, buses and trains and heading north and west.
The sudden decision late Friday by Austria and Germany to throw open their borders and take in thousands of refugees unwanted in Hungary does not seem to have stilled the movement across a continent that is feeling the effects of the cauldrons of conflict across the Middle East.
Cypriot authorities said Sunday they rescued 114 people believed to be refugees fleeing war-torn Syria after their fishing boat issued a distress call some 46 miles off the eastern Mediterranean island nation’s southern coast, the Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, thousands continued to arrive on Lesvos and other Greek islands from Turkey. Refugees continued from there to the port of Piraeus in Athens and started heading north along the Balkan land route taken by tens of thousands in recent weeks.
At the other end of the migrant trail, Austrian railways announced they had carried some 13,000 people to Germany from the early hours of Saturday into Sunday morning.
In the Austrian border town of Nickelsdorf, hundreds of refugees spent a cold night in a vast hall equipped over the past week to receive them. Other refugees at the Vienna railway station waiting for a train to Germany were allowed to sleep on an empty train as temperatures dipped below 50 degrees in some places.
In Germany, which has taken in the most refugees and expects 800,000 asylum seekers this year, volunteers were again at the main Munich railway station and other locations across the country on Sunday, welcoming the new arrivals in a determined display …Read More