Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Pope to Visit Greece Next Week to Back Migrants; Will Visit Lesbos Where Some 1M Migrants Came

Pope Francis will visit Greece on April 14-15, a Greek government official said today (April 5, 2016), in order to get a first-hand look at the front line of Europe's migrant crisis and thousands of refugees fleeing conflict, according to the Reuters website.

The Holy Synod -- the ruling body of the Greek Orthodox Church -- said in a statement it wanted the pontiff to visit Lesbos, the Aegean Sea Greek island where hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants have arrived in the past year.

Confirming the visit, a Greek government official said Francis would be accompanied to Lesbos by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.

"The Greek government will welcome Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew as valuable supporters and friends in the struggle to offer refugees some relief," the government official said.

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