Pope Francis visits Greek island caught in refugee crisis

{France 24} – Pope Francis on Saturday arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos where he was set to meet Orthodox pape_bartolomee_tsiprasPatriarch Bartholomew I and refugees who have been left stranded between their home countries and the European mainland.

The Vatican insisted that Francis’ five-hour visit is purely for humanitarian and religious reasons, and is not meant as a direct criticism of a new deportation plan.

But the high-profile visit is expected to put pressure on the controversial deal between the European Union and Turkey.

Pope Francis was greeted as he descended the stairs from the plane by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians.

The Archbishop of Athens and the head of Lesbos’ tiny Catholic community were also on hand to greet the Catholic pontiff. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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About Cholo Brooks 13344 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.