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Francis celebrates first year-end Vespers as pope

Calls on Romans to welcome refugees, the unemployed

31 December, 18:27
Francis celebrates first year-end Vespers as pope (ANSA) - Vatican City, December 31 - Pope Francis celebrated his first Vespers and Te Deum for the Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, thanksgiving for the past year, in St Peter's Basilica Tuesday, calling for a more humane, hospitable and welcoming Italian capital in the upcoming year, especially with regard to refugees and the unemployed. "Rome is a city full of tourists, but also full of refugees; full of people who work but also people out of work or who are underpaid," said the pontiff, who is also the bishop of Rome. "Everyone has the right to be treated with the same attitude of acceptance and fairness. "If all of us are careful and generous towards those in difficulty, if we are able to collaborate with a constructive spirit guided by solidarity, it will be good for everyone". The pope, who celebrated his first Christmas mass as pontiff last week, went on to say that Rome was a city of "unique beauty" that was marked by the presence of "so many people that are scarred by material and moral misery". Following the celebrations, Francis was scheduled to pay a brief visit to the Nativity scene set up adjacent to the obelisk in St Peter's Square.

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