A Vatican statement on Friday (18th September) said a Syrian refugee family, is already being hosted by the Vatican with the help of the city state’s Santa Anna parish community. The family, consisting of a father, mother and their two children, come from Damascus and belong to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. In its statement, the Vatican said the family arrived in Italy on September the 6th, the very same day that Pope Francis made his appeal for European parishes to open their doors to refugees and also promised that the Vatican too would take in two refugee families. The Syrian family is living in an apartment belonging to the Vatican in the vicinity of St Peter’s Basilica.
The four Syrians have since asked for asylum. In its statement, the Vatican said according to law, for the first six months following the request for asylum, those seeking international protection cannot work and during this time they will be helped and accompanied by the Vatican’s Parish of Santa Anna. The Syrian family has not been named and the statement asked the media to respect the family’s wish not to be contacted or asked to give interviews.
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