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Do not reject migrants, Pope tells followers

8 May 2011 Last updated at 15:13 BST

Pope Benedict has urged Roman Catholics to show more tolerance towards migrants from north Africa.

It comes as 400 people from Libya had to be rescued by Italian coast guards after their fishing boat hit rocks on the small island of Lampedusa.

TV images of the dramatic night-time rescue showed some migrants jumping or falling into the sea.

At a Sunday mass for 300,000 people in Venice, he told them not to fear or reject the new arrivals, but to build bridges between peoples and nations.

David Willey reports from Rome.