Pope Francis has warned there is a "danger" Isis jihadists could use the ongoing refugee crisis to infiltrate Europe.
Speaking to the Portugese radio station Radio Renascença, he said: “The truth is that just 400 kilometres from Sicily there is an incredibly cruel terrorist group. So there is a danger of infiltration, this is true.”
He continued, saying: "nobody said Rome would be immune to this threat".
The Pope was discussing a range of issues, including the current refugee crisis, saying: “The poor people are fleeing war, hunger, but that is the tip of the iceberg. Because underneath that is the cause, and the cause is a bad and unjust socio-economic system”.
Pope Francis said that as the “son of emigrants” himself, he advocated “welcoming people and welcoming them as they are”.
He added: “Obviously, if a refugee arrives, despite all the safety precautions, we must welcome him, because this is a commandment from the Bible.”
Earlier this month, Nigel Farage tweeted about the ongoing refugee crisis - a day after the photographs of drowned Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi surfaced - saying: "We must also establish who is a genuine refugee and to make sure that they are not an extremist from Isis or other jihadi institutions."
During the interview, the Pope also criticised the “lack of capacity for welcoming humanity” in the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis in Mynamar, which he said “hurts him deeply”.
Last week, Pope Francis called on Catholic parishes and religious groups to host a refugee family, following his announcement that the Vatican will home two families.
It has been reported that the leader of the Catholic Church will draw attention to the refugee crisis and call for peace in a speech to the UN, scheduled to happen at the end of the month.