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The Vatican Takes in Family of Syrian Refugees

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The Vatican has taken in a family who fled Damascus, just days after Pope Francis urged Catholic parishes across the world to assist refugees.

The Syrian family of four, all Melkite Greek Catholics, arrived on Sept. 6 and are being housed in the city-state’s Santa Anna Parish, according to a statement from the Vatican.

Pope Francis said previously both the Vatican’s parishes would house refugee families, though it has not provided details about the actions of the second parish, St. Peter’s Basilica.

“The procedures for requesting international protection were initiated immediately,” the Vatican Information Service said. The Santa Anna Parish will now assist the family for the first six months after their asylum request, the statement continued, because they cannot legally accept paid work.

The parish is housing the family in a Vatican apartment near St. Peter’s Basilica.


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Write to Julia Zorthian at julia.zorthian@time.com