Pope repeats refugee ‘concentration camps’ remarks
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Pope repeats refugee ‘concentration camps’ remarks

Challenged over criticism of the comparison, Francis doubles down

Pope Francis talks to journalists during a press conference he held on his return flight from Cairo to Rome, Saturday, April 29, 2017 (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis talks to journalists during a press conference he held on his return flight from Cairo to Rome, Saturday, April 29, 2017 (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE — Pope Francis repeated on Saturday that some migrant holding centers in Europe amount to “concentration camps,” even after Jewish groups urged him to stop using the loaded term.

A German reporter asked Francis if he had made a linguistic slip when he first made the remarks last week, adding that they had been met with shock in Germany. Speaking en route home from Egypt, Francis appeared to not appreciate the controversy, saying that there are some refugee holding centers where migrants are penned in and prevented from leaving.

He said: “There are refugee camps that are true concentration camps.”

The American Jewish Committee sharply criticized the remarks and urged Francis to use a different choice of words.

In a statement last week, AJC said that while the conditions in some migrant centers might be difficult “The Nazis and their allies erected and used concentration camps for slave labor and the extermination of millions of people during World War II. There is no comparison to the magnitude of that tragedy.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

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