04/17/2016, 12.47
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Pope Francis brings three Syrian refugee families home to the Vatican

They arrived with the pontiff from Lesbos. They join the two families already living inside the Vatican. Pope alights first from the plane bringing him back to Rome to shake hands with each of them. The reception and the maintenance of three families will be borne by the Vatican. The initial hospitality - said Father Lombardi - will be guaranteed by the Community of Sant'Egidio.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis has brought three more Syrian refugee families home to the Vatican.  They are all Muslims and include six minors. The pontiff brought them to Rome from Lesbos refugee camp, where yesterday he went on a pastoral and ecumenical visit to the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew and the Archbishop of Athens Hieronymus.

They are three families: one of five, another of four and finally a three member family. Their names were chosen by the Community of Sant'Egidio who along with the  Waldensian Church in Italy are involved in marinating humanitarian corridors, among the thousands of people housed in the refugee camp of Kara Tepe in Militene (Lesbos). The twelve will be hosted at first just by the Community.

When the plane arrived in Rome, the Pope waited for the Syrians to alight and then shook hands with each of them (see photo).

The move was made after negotiations between the Holy See, Italy and Greece. The costs of housing the families will be covered by the Vatican. All members of the three families are Muslim. Two families come from Damascus, one from Deir Azzor (the area occupied by Daesh, the self-styled Islamic State). Their houses were bombed.

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