Three years after the historic visit of Pope Francis to the Greek island of Lesbos, the pope has dispatched one of his closest aides to the island’s massive refugee camp where many people are still trapped. Roughly 15,000 refugees and asylum-seekers are believed to be stuck on Lesbos and a handful of other Greek islands in an effort to reach Europe.
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, boarded a plane to Greece Monday morning with a message of hope and closeness to refugees still trapped in the camp.
Krajewski, who’s responsible for distributing the charitable funds of the Vatican, will donate 100,000 Euro as pope’s personal contribution to Caritas Hellas. The money will be spent on the needs of asylum-seekers and refugees, but also for local communities.
Krajewski said that he would check on what could be done for the refugees that are still in the camp and understands it as a mission of a shepherd assisting the flock.
In January, the British-based humanitarian group Oxfam issued a report on conditions at the camp, alleging, among other things, that women are wearing diapers at night rather than leaving their tents to use community toilets, out of fear of sexual violence. Also in January, a 24-year-old man from Cameroon froze to death in the camp.
Krajewski visited a camp and hotspot in Moira and the Kara Tepe camp on Lesbos, accompanied by Archbishop Sevastianos Rossolatos of Athens and Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, the president of COMECE (Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community).
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