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Shelter Pope tells Europe's churches to host refugees

The two parishes in the Vatican these days will welcome two families of refugees."

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Pope Francis play

Pope Francis

Pope Francis implored Catholic institutions throughout Europe to show mercy to the flood of refugees arriving on their shores by offering them shelter.

"Every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe has to host a family, starting from my diocese of Rome," Francis said at the end of his Angelus prayers in Rome on Sunday.

"The two parishes in the Vatican these days will welcome two families of refugees."

Meanwhile, as more migrants poured into Hungary on Sunday, the will of the German government to relieve more pressure there  as it had done a day earlier appeared to have its limits.

Germany's acceptance of thousands of people who entered Hungary while fleeing entrenched bloody conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan should be seen as the exception and not the rule, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday.

"The help in (Friday's) emergency situation was tied to an urgent reminder not to make that the practice for the coming days," he said at a meeting of Europe's foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

But on Hungary's border with Austria, a country most migrants have transited through to get to Germany, the stream of migrants continued unabated on Sunday.

By midday Sunday, Austria had let in 11,000 migrants since agreeing to allow them in a day before, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Alexander Marakovits. The border remains open to potential refugees and packed buses continue to arrive, he said.


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