Pope Francis: Italians Should Welcome Immigrants as ‘Sons and Daughters’

Pope Francis said Monday that immigrants are helping to replace Italy’s falling population and urged Italians to welcome them as their own children.

“Immigrants help when they fit in well,” the pontiff told a group of government officials gathered in the Vatican. “Italy is a land where there is a lack of children, and migrants come.”

In his address, the pope repeated his concern over Italy’s low birthrate, lamenting that Italians “don’t have children.”

He also recounted that one of my secretaries was walking through the square the other day and came upon a lady pushing a baby carriage. He bent down to caress the child and saw it was a little dog in the carriage.

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