VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says sharp tensions in European cities over immigrants could get worse unless authorities, citizens and the newcomers sit down and discuss their prejudices.
The pope's remarks Sunday to visitors in St. Peter's Square follow by a few days an outbreak of violence against refugees in a working-class neighborhood of Rome. Riot police were sent in after several days of anti-immigrant tensions.
Residents insist they're not racist, just fed up by authorities' neglect of their rundown neighborhoods on the outskirts.
Francis suggested local churches could host meetings so all sides could listen to each other and make plans together. That way they can "overcome every suspicion and prejudice and build ever safer, peaceful and inclusive co-existence."
Added Francis: "What's important is not surrendering to the temptation for clashes."