Updated: Pope Francis visits refugees at Centro Astalli in Rome

(Update 18.50hrs: access full speech and Report of the visit in English)

Adapted from The Vatican Insider

Pope Francis arrived at Centro Astalli in Rome without an escort. Hundreds of people thronged along the fences that surround the area, calling to receive a greeting from him. The Pope stopped by some of them, talking and shaking hands. The meeting of Francis was strictly private. 

The Pope greeted immigrants in Centro Astalli, run by the Jesuit Refugee Service in Italy, where they receive assistance every day. After talking with some of them he encountered others in the Chiesa del Gesù, a powerful symbol and meaningful to the Centre Astalli because therein lies the tomb of Father Pedro Arrupe, founder of the Jesuit Refugee Service. 

Upon the arrival of Pope Frances in Via degli Astalli there were thirty refugees, mostly Africans waiting to attend Mass. Before entering, the Pontiff stopped to greet them. Then, he greeted the crowd at the barricades and finally entered the Jesuit Centre for Refugees.

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