Would you offer your spare room to a family in need? 529



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Many of us empty-nesters are rattling around in houses with empty rooms, and the Pope – along with others – say we could put them to better use.

His Holiness’ announcement that the Vatican will house two families of refugees who are “fleeing death” from war or hunger has been met with widespread support, and he has urged Catholics around the world to do the same.

This sentiment echoes the widespread feeling that it is up to humanity to respond to this humanitarian crisis, with examples like a convoy of private cars heading to the Hungarian borders to collect refugees stranded there and bring them into their homes.

The pope said, “Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees who are fleeing death by war and by hunger, and who are on a path toward a hope for life, the Gospel calls us to be neighbours to the smallest and most abandoned, to give them concrete hope.”

It’s not enough to say, “Have courage, hang in there,” he added.

“May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary in Europe host a family, starting with my diocese of Rome,” Francis said. He also asked bishops throughout Europe to have their dioceses take up his call to “express the Gospel in concrete terms and take in a family of refugees.”

One Twitter user has reminded us that Australians have been generous in the past:

During the Vietnam War, Malcolm Fraser took in 50,000 Vietnamese refugees and Australians welcomed them. We rushed to offer clothes, friendship and help. During World War Two, people around the world opened their homes to others to help.

The current government is unlikely to expand its welcome to more refugees, genuine or not, so perhaps it is up to us to demonstrate compassion and a practical solution.

Tell us, would you let a refugee family into you spare room if it were possible? 


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Where is the money coming from to feed and take care of them

    8 REPLY
    • My Goodness people!!
      We are one of the wealthiest countries in the world. We CAN do this if we really want to. Some obviously don’t care enough which is really sad.

    • My dear Mary not every one is wealthy, not every one is employed since our good politicians have send all our industries overseas and sold all our assets that they could get their hands on. People in Australia can’t even afford a home let alone give accommodation to refuges, so where is the wealth? People like you may be on the up side of town or very delusional, people are in struggle street in our part of town.

    • As they are in mine Sandra. Instead of asking the Catholics to take them in, what he should have asked is for the rich to take them in. I’d be very interested to know if any of these so called do gooders would be willing to open their doors to any of them. Stop blabbing on and on about what wonderful, caring people you are and put your money (or home) where your mouth is. If you’re willing to do it, then just do it. Not necessary to publicise it to everyone. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN ANY WORD EVER COULD!

    • Mary Cusack, you should not be so judgemental because people are being honest. No one is arguing the fact that it is horrible. What we are cracking it over is the fact that the Pope, in all his eminence has asked us to take them in. Nice to be so magnanimous with other people’s money. I was never keen on being told what I should do.

  2. Is the Vatican going to house and feed any of these families? Good at preaching but what about setting an example?

  3. No. Im sorry. BUT if I had a caravan I would let it to them. They would get more centre link payment than me so centre link could pay me rent. ( no more than $160 a fortnight otherwise they would stop some of my money ).

    3 REPLY
    • They most certainly wouldn’t get more than you. Where do you get that information from? I want actual figures thanks…

    • When refugees come here they have no access to welfare they cannot access our healthcare system. And I’m not getting back into my box sweetie I’m much nicer than you are Leah Ryan

      1 REPLY
      • Good on you Glenda.
        I’m appalled at some of these mean-spirited comments.

  4. How about they stop the war and allow these people to live in their own country, then there would be no boat people and no refugees and no drowning. If wars can be made it can also be stopped. The churches are asking for religious tolerance it should be both ways, we can not or should not have these people imposing their values and believes on the world over, you religious leaders should sort it out with peace not killing.

    18 REPLY
    • Unfortunately there are some members of the UN who veto decisions taken about dealing with war.

    • Sandra, the refugees are not Islamic State. They are fleeing Islamic State – those who would and are imposing their values on the people of Syria.

    • How do you know this is the truth Mary? I willingly help anyone I can but this is a huge and conflicting situation. Why can’t we help them to sort out their own countries.

    • Mike here-but, Mary Cusack, most of the illegal immigrants seem to be young, fit, healthy men, who could be in their own country helping to fight off the mongrels instead of stomping all over women & children to get on the trains to Germany. Regarding stopping wars, while some of the people can make big dollars & sustain economies out of war there will be no end to war, the Amercaneconomy couldot survive with no war. No arguements on migration, I cae here to Aus from Pomgolia at the age of 10 but my parents came at the invite of the gov., of the day. We assimilated, we took our knotted handkerchiefs off our heads, stopped saying ‘ee ba gum’ , donned our bathers & headed for the beach in whatever corner of this country we had come to.

    • That’s right I agree they should stay and fix there own country get rid of Isis etc perhaps society would be better if everyone was told religion was made to enslave people it should be banned

    • UN are useless & so Is Religion…they should stay & fight for their country it’s seems to be all the men that are running & just leaving the women & kids,if our men didn’t fight in WW2 we would all be now talking Japanese…

    • If it was war people would not be allowed in. What a quiet way to invade a country and take over without a fight.

    • Whilst there are separate factions and religious groups who exist in the same country and who cannot get along, then war will never end. It’s all about land and religion and has been since the beginning of time practically. Look at Northern Ireland for instance…..roman catholics against the Protestants. Alas, it’s innocent people who get caught up in these “man made wars”.

    • At present ,this is an emergency situation…you need to deal with that first,by allowing refugees in……then come up with a long term plan……we are part of the world,and every one should put out a compassionate hand ,instead of being cold and blaming.

    • I believe everyone should be allowed to live in peace where ever they maybe, saying that people need to remember that if you are leaving a country where the laws and government is not to their liking then they should not expect the laws to change where they chose to live or they way of life, and any one who wants change to their ideology should be made to leave not given citizenship papers
      And all you people that saying yes to everything they want are causing a lot of resentment in the communities, people should be treated all the same they do not need you to feel sorry for them and put every other person in the community feel resentment towards them with your political correctness making people feel that they are walking on egg shells. That is why these people are not welcomed, and government should also work on their policies, they need to remember Australia is for all Australians, and all migrants should be told what the country can offer them as a way of life, not for them to tell us bluntly that they will not tolerate other religions or cultures, as some expressed publicly, now do you see we’re the resentment comes from? Those are they kind of people that should be put on the same boat and drifted back to sea. Not given citizenship papers. The law makers need to change and quick for Australia’s sake.

    • Agree Mike men first second third where are all the women and children? The men are quick to leave the country instead of defending it, and the do gooders want them to settle here; no way!

    • Yep I feel for these people but they should not have to flee their birth country, that country should be a safe environment for them. We as citizens of the world need to expect that all nations treat all their citizens well, then if people want to move they can actually follow due process and they would have paper work to allow them to do so okay rant over, I know this is an impossibility but it is impossible because some leaders are not leaders but despots

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