Pope Francis calls for an end to discrimination and xenophobia against the Roma people, but urges them to take responsibility for their own welfare. Mana Rabiee reports.
They're considered Europe's poorest minority... Roma and gypsies, often living nomadic lives, almost all of them on the fringes of society, but thousands came to Vatican City to see Pope Francis. The pope has visited several Roma camps since becoming pontiff, but he used this public occasion to call for an end to discrimination and xenophobia against Roma and other itinerant communities. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "I wish for your people that a new story should start, that you turn the page! The time has come to uproot centuries-old prejudices (and) preconceptions." But Francis also called on Europe's Christian gypsies to do their part. He encouraged the audience to send their children to school and join the mainstream. Since his election in 2013, Pope Francis has made the fight against poverty a central plank of his papacy He's condemned the precarious conditions the Roma live in, as part of that platform, and says he'll continue to defend the world's poor and most vulnerable.