Pope in Bulgaria tells refugees they bear cross of humanity

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.