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SOFIA, Bulgaria – Pope Francis has met with refugees in Bulgaria's showcase refugee center and told them they are bearing the "cross of humanity," after he urged the migrant-skeptic government to not close its eyes to their suffering during a visit to the Balkan nation.
Refugee children from Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere sang for Francis on Monday at the Vrazhdebna center, located in a refurbished school on the outskirts of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital.
Bulgaria's center-right government has been criticized by human rights groups and the European Council for its treatment of asylum-seekers, particularly unaccompanied minors.
Francis is on the second-day of a three-day visit to the Balkans. Later Monday, he is to celebrate Mass in the Catholic stronghold of Rakovsky and celebrate First Communion for more than 200 children.