Pope to take 10 refugees back to Italy


Greek state television ERT reports Pope Francis has apparently offered to take 10 refugees back to Italy with him when he departs the Greek island of Lesvos after a historic visit.

ERT says it appears eight Syrians and two Afghans will be offered passage Saturday. The inclusion of the latter would be a highly symbolic move at a time when Europe has stopped automatically considering Afghans to be refugees and doesn't include them among the nationalities whose asylum applications are approved.

The state television channel didn't cite a source for the information. Asked about the report, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi told The Associated Press: "I have nothing to say at this time."

Asked if he would have an update later, Lombardi said: "Each moment has its significance." [AP}