Helping refugees is sign of authentic faith, pope says
Published: June 20, 2005
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI offered a special prayer for the world's refugees, and said helping them was a sign of authentic faith for Christians. The pope made the remarks at a noon blessing June 19 to several thousand people gathered in St. Peter's Square. World Refugee Day was celebrated worldwide the following day. The pope said the theme of this year's refugee day, "Courage in the Face of Flight and Exile," reminded people of the strong spirit people need when they are forced to flee their homes and their families and face a series of risks and problems. He said the Catholic Church feels close to refugees and tries to help them spiritually and materially. People who find themselves far from their homeland should be made to feel that "the church is a country where no one is foreign," he said. The pope said that for Christians, there was an essential connection between participation in the Eucharist and charitable acts, including service to refugees.
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