The archbishop of Warsaw has called for Poland to accept hundreds of Syrian refugees in need of urgent medical care, in a move that risks embarrassing the right-wing government.

Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz made the appeal in a pastoral letter released by Catholic media on Wednesday and which is to be read in churches in his diocese on Sunday.

It concerns "the image of Poland and of the Church of Poland," Nycz said, adding he was counting on some "opening up" from the government on the issue.

The ruling conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) opposes the entry of Muslim refugees and migrants on security grounds, and has rejected an EU plan to share out migrants among the member states.

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