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Pope Francis Urges US Not To Turn Its Back On Refugees

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Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter

Pope Francis urged the United States not to turn its back on the hundreds of thousands of migrants streaming into Europe, saying we must all avoid the temptation “to discard whatever proves troublesome.”

“We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation,” Francis said in an address to Congress. “To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.”

“We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome,” he continued. “Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

“This Rule points us in a clear direction,” Francis added. “Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”

Germany alone expects to take in 1 million migrants this year, and hundreds of thousands of others are expected to head for the continent from the Middle East and North Africa — many from war-torn Syria.

The U.S. takes in about 70,000 refugees a year, but this week Secretary of State John Kerry announced the U.S. will take in an extra 45,000 refugees over the next two years in response to the crisis. At least 10,000 of them will be from Syria.

Some Republicans are concerned about the security threat the migrants might pose. National Intelligence Director James Clapper said recently the possibility of Islamic State militants infiltrating the refugee ranks is of “huge concern” to U.S. intelligence officials.

Although the U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the global population, it takes in one in five of the world’s migrants. No other country has taken in more than one-twentieth of the world’s migrant population

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