During a trip to the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis made a committment to several Syrian refugee families.
According to a news release from the Vatican, following a brief private meeting with the prime minister Tsipras, Pope Francis, Archbishop Jerome and the Patriarch Bartholomew visited the Mòria refugee camp, which accommodates around 2,500 people seeking asylum. The three religious leaders were awaited by 150 minors currently residing in the camp, whom they greeted with great affection before proceeding to the courtyard where refugees are registered. There, in a large tent, the Pope, the Patriarch and the Archbishop personally greeted 250 men and women living in Mòria.
Pope Francis said, "I have wanted to be with you today. I want to tell you that you are not alone. In these weeks and months, you have endured much suffering in your search for a better life. Many of you felt forced to flee situations of conflict and persecution for the sake, above all, of your children, your little ones. You have made great sacrifices for your families. You know the pain of having left behind everything that is dear to you and – what is perhaps most difficult – not knowing what the future will bring. Many others like you are also in camps or towns, waiting, hoping to build a new life on this continent.
"I have come here with my brothers, Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Ieronymos, simply to be with you and to hear your stories. We have come to call the attention of the world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to plead for its resolution. As people of faith, we wish to join our voices to speak out on your behalf. We hope that the world will heed these scenes of tragic and indeed desperate need, and respond in a way worthy of our common humanity."
He announced that he will take three families of Syrian Muslim refugees to Rome.
The 12 refugees, including six children, joined the pope on his plane after a five-hour visit to the Moria detention center. The pope also asked European leaders to do more to help the thousands of refugees stuck in camps.