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Two Syrian Christians came forward with a story this week, alleging the Vatican turned them away in favor of Syrian Muslims.
A Christian brother and his sister, Roula and Malek Abo from Syria, said they were picked originally as the “chosen 12” to go back to the Vatican with Pope Francis on his visit to Lesbos, according to a Daily Mail report.
However, the next day, they were apparently told that they would not be leaving with the Pope, and instead three Muslim families were chosen to fly back to Rome with the Holy Father.
The Abo’s say they are now stuck in Lesbos, telling RadarOnline “If they can do this for 12 people they can do it for more. If you have promised to take people back to Italy will something like registration papers stand in your way?”
The charity Community Sant’Egidio and the Vatican would not explain how the migrants were chosen to go back to Italy with Pope Francis.
A spokesman with the charity said the incident was “regrettable,” saying “The problem here is the three Syrians arrived after the March 20 deadline. They arrived just after the agreement between the European Union and Turkey.”
The spokesperson said everyone was chosen by the Vatican, saying “The question why the Pope took only Muslims is difficult to understand and he was suffering, I think, because he wanted to do something also for Christians as the chief of the Catholic Church. But he couldn’t because there is this international agreement [with the EU].”
The Vatican has declined to comment on the matter.
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