Don't be blind to refugees and the needy, pope says in appeal
VATICAN CITY (REUTERS) - Pope Francis urged the people of Rome not to let the beauty of their city to blind them to the growing number of homeless, refugees, and unemployed living among them.
Pope Francis, who is also the bishop of Rome, has made appeals for people to reach out to the poor in a personal way a hallmark of his papacy, presided at a solemn vespers ceremony on Tuesday in St. Peter's to mark the end of the year.
"Rome is full of tourists but it is also full of refugees,"the head of the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church said in his homily at the service known as the "Te Deum" prayers of thanksgiving.
He asked Romans not to see their city just as a "picture postcard" metropolis but to open their eyes to the many people who are unemployed, underpaid and suffering from "material and moral poverty".