Pope Francis arrived to the Greek Island of Lesbos on Saturday to highlight the plight of refugees, and has taken 12 Syrian refugees, including six children, on his plane back to Rome, the Vatican said. And all 12 refugees rescued by the pontiff are Muslim.
"The Pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children," a statement from the Holy See press office said.
Refugees are not numbers, they are people who have faces, names, stories, and need to be treated as such.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 16, 2016
We have come to call the attention of the world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to plead for its resolution. Viemos a fim de chamar a atenção do mundo para esta grave crise humanitária e implorar a sua resolução. Siamo venuti per richiamare l’attenzione del mondo su questa grave crisi umanitaria e per implorarne la risoluzione. Hemos venido para atraer la atención del mundo ante esta grave crisis humanitaria y para implorar la solución de la misma. Wir sind gekommen, um die Aufmerksamkeit der Welt auf diese schwere humanitäre Krise zu lenken und ihre Lösung zu erflehen. Nous sommes venus attirer l’attention du monde sur cette grave crise humanitaire et plaider pour sa résolution. #lesbos
The Vatican said that those invited by the pontiff “were already in camps in Lesbos before the agreement between the European Union and Turkey.”
"This is a trip that is a bit different than the others ... this is a trip marked by sadness," Francis later told reporters. "We are going to encounter the greatest humanitarian catastrophe since World War Two. We will see many people who are suffering, who don't know where to go, who had to flee.”