Pope Francis spoke to thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday.
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 would 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 toward what he described as “life’s hope.”
It was Francis’ 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.
Interactive Feature | Traveling in Europe’s River of Migrants Thousands of migrants and refugees are desperately pushing their way into Europe. A team of New York Times journalists is documenting the journey.
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 caldrons of conflict across the Middle East.
In Cyprus, the authorities said Sunday that they had rescued 114 people believed to be refugees fleeing Syria after their fishing boat issued a distress call some 46 miles off the island’s southern coast, The Associated Press reported.
Meanwhile, thousands of migrants continued to arrive on Lesbos and other Greek islands from Turkey. Migrants continued from there to the port of Piraeus in Athens and started heading north along the Balkan land route taken by tens of thousands of others in recent weeks.
At the other end of the migrant trail, Austrian rail operators announced that they had carried about 13,000 people to Germany from early Saturday to Sunday morning.
Graphic | Seeking a Fair Distribution of Refugees in Europe German and European Union leaders have called for European countries to share the burden of absorbing the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have poured into the continent this summer.
In the Austrian border town of Nickelsdorf, …Read More