Italy: When in Rome, Do as the Poles

When in Rome, Do as the Poles

With charity in mind, Father Giuseppe Federici, a parish priest in Latina, 37 miles southeast of Rome, opened the doors of his church to about 50 East European refugees camped outside last month. Within three days, however, their numbers had burgeoned to almost 600. It took a month for Italian authorities to find new lodgings for the refugees.

Since January, Italy has been host to an estimated 4,500 Poles who hold easily acquired Italian tourist visas and have no intention of returning home. Pope John Paul II is concerned about the plight of his compatriots and "is doing everything to discourage...