Pope asks French to welcome all nationalities
Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday asked French pilgrims to welcome people of all origins days after France repatriated more than 200 Roma and Gypsies in a controversial crackdown.
The pope said Sunday's scriptures were "an invitation to know how to accept legitimate differences among humans, just like Jesus came to pull together men from every nation and speaking every language."
Benedict, speaking after his weekly Angelus prayer at his papal summer residence outside Rome, also invited parents to educate children in tolerance.
"Dear parents, may you be able to educate your children to universal fraternity," he told pilgrims from Paris in French.
Amid international criticism, France flew Roma and Gypsies to Romania on "a voluntary basis" on Thursday and Friday in exchange for grants of 300 euros (385 dollars) per person.
SPECIAL: The Situation in France
- Austria's Die Presse: Covert racism is why Europe's Roma are worse off after COVID-19 pandemic
- EU Fundamental Rights Agency and OSCE say governments must deliver aid to Roma affected by COVID-19 pandemic
- Zeljko Jovanovic: The New Roma Politics of Self-Determination and Unity
- LIVE BROADCAST NOW! EU Anti-Racism Summit
- EU Commission: States have to show improvement for Roma if they expect to draw funding
- EU Commissioner for Values: EU money is meant to help the Roma too, data collection is important so we aren't flying blind
- Czech Govt to divert billions of crowns from the EU away from social services even as COVID-19 increases demand for debt counseling
- In the V-4, COVID-19 pandemic exploited for ultra-right hoaxes, calls for authoritarianism
- Czech Republic: Further action needed to integrate Roma children in schools and prevent discrimination against LGBTI persons
- Bulgaria: Scandal over EU-financed training to detect alleged "radicalization" of Roma, activists say money was used to boost anti-Romani sentiment
- European Roma Rights Centre reports on human rights violations against Romani people during the pandemic this spring
- Analysis: European populists lose their charm to scandals, trials and unpaid debts