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Pope calls for every parish to house a refugee family


Pope Francis has called on every European parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary to take in one refugee family, as thousands of people from war-torn countries continued to stream into Germany via Austria.
The pope said on Sunday the Vatican would open its doors to two refugee families, but provided few details as he addressed tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square.
Francis said it was not enough to say, "Have courage, hang in there", to the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are on the march toward what he called "life's hope".
He called on every Catholic parish, convent, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to shelter a family, and asked bishops throughout Europe to urge their dioceses to do the same.
His comments came after about 8,000 refugees arrived in Munich over the past two days, with a further 8,000 expected to arrive on Sunday.
They seemed dazed by the calls of "Welcome to Munich", from the few dozen well-wishers remaining at around midnight, as well as by their determination to thrust chocolate bars, bananas or bread rolls into their hands.
Many of the refugees said they were fleeing the civil war in Syria, while others were from Afghanistan or Iraq.
German interior ministry spokesman Harald Neymanns said Berlin's decision to open its borders to Syrians was an exceptional case for humanitarian reasons. He said Europe's so-called Dublin rules, which require people to apply for asylum in the first EU country they enter, had not been suspended.

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