Politics

Obama invokes Pope Francis to justify taking Syrian refugees

President Obama on Monday invoked Pope Francis as a way to justify taking in thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria, despite warnings from Congress and several states that doing so runs the risk of taking in terrorists disguised as refugees.

"When Pope Francis came to visit the United States and gave a speech before Congress, he didn't just speak about Christians who were being persecuted, he didn't call on Catholic parishes just to admit those who were of the same religious faith, he said protect people who were vulnerable," Obama said in remarks to the press in Turkey.

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His comments came after some have suggested that only Christian refugees should be taken in, but Obama rejected that.

"And when I hear folks say that, 'well, maybe we should just admit the Christians but not the Muslims,' when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who's fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folks themselves come from families who benefited from protection when they were fleeing political persecution, that's shameful," he said.

"That's not American; it's not who we are. We don't have religious tests to our compassion," he said.

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