The culmination of the events for the presence of the religious leader of the Catholics on the island was neither his reception ceremony at the Presidential Palace nor the divine service on Friday morning at the GSP stadium with the participation of 7,000 believers, but the universal prayer he addressed with immigrants in Friday afternoon at the parish church of the Holy Cross in Nicosia.
According to Pope Francis’s speech to the refugees and immigrants who flooded the church, long before the Pope’s visit to the island, the Vatican had provided written testimonies of young refugees and immigrants living in Cyprus. “By listening to you, we become better aware of the prophetic power of the Word of God which, through the Apostle Paul, says (…) ‘You are not strangers, but fellow-citizens.’ stigma of his visit to Cyprus, which records increased flows of migrants and refugees as well as ship repatriations as well as refusal to consider applications for the right of access to asylum.
“We are brothers”
Afterwards, Pope Francis conveyed to the faithful excerpts from the testimonies of the young refugees and immigrants of Cyprus. Among them, Thamara from Sri Lanka who had written to the Pope that “we are not numbers or people being cataloged” to receive the answer from the Holy Cross temple that “we are ‘brothers’, ‘friends’, ‘believers’ and each of us is ‘close’ to the other. ”
Or Maccolins from Cameroon who wrote to the Pope that his whole life was hurt by hatred. “You remind us that hatred has also poisoned relations between Christians,” was the Pope’s response, who also spoke of a “distorted mentality that, instead of allowing us to recognize each other as brothers, makes us see each other.” the other as adversaries “. Or finally, Rozh from Iraq, who had confessed that he is “a man on the road” to remind us, according to Pope Francis, that “we too are communities on the road from conflict to society.”
From the Cypriot prisons in Italy through the Vatican
The solidarity that Pope Francis wanted to convey from Nicosia to immigrants and refugees was manifested in practice as ten immigrants detained in the Central Prison in Nicosia will be transferred by air at the request of the Pope by air to the Vatican. According to DW, the ten immigrants are from the Congo and have been held in the Central Prison since the summer, facing charges of entering the country illegally.
The choice of the ten Congolese was made by the papal delegation itself, while according to DW, four will be transported by plane to the Vatican in a few days while the remaining six will be on a second mission to Rome along with 40 other refugees, who are expected to be identified. from Italy as asylum seekers. Among the refugees to be transferred to the Vatican are two young people from Cameroon, who have been trapped in the dead zone for months, as the Republic of Cyprus categorically refuses to accept their entry into the territories under its control.
Dialogue for peace
In addition to the messages of solidarity he sent through his reports, Pope Francis also sent messages of peace for Cyprus but also for the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Specifically yesterday, Pope Francis, speaking from the Presidential Palace, described Cyprus as a cultural and religious crossroads, wished the country to become an open construction site for peace in the Mediterranean, while emphasizing that the only way to peace and brotherhood is. Pope Francis will leave Cyprus tomorrow and will visit Greece, where he will stay until December 6th.
Loukianos Lyritsas, Nicosia
Source: Deutsche Welle
Source From: Capital