Face of the day

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

A Christian brother and sister were told that they would be given a new life in Italy by today’s face of the day and were then left behind. To make matters worse, three Muslim families were taken instead by the head of the largest Christian religion in the world, Pope Francis.


Roula and Malek Abo say they were two of the lucky ‘chosen 12’ refugees selected by the Vatican to be taken from the desperate camp and housed in Rome.

But what seemed like the chance of a lifetime was cruelly snatched away when they were told the following day they couldn’t go. Instead three Muslim families were taken.

Roula, 22, and her brother arrived on Lesbos on April 1 – ten days after the controversial EU deal to return all asylum seekers arriving to Greece from Turkey.

Their application for asylum is being process and they are waiting to learn if they will be sent back to Turkey.

Stuck on Lesbos, Roula told MailOnline: ‘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?’

Neither Community Sant’Egidio, the charity which organised the trip, or the Vatican would explain the selection process over which migrants were picked.

Spokesman Massimiliano Signifredi called the incident ‘regrettable’ – adding: ‘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.

Mr Signifredi said: ‘Our staff went to Lesbos and spoke with the people who were selected. But everything was decided by the Vatican.

‘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 European Union appears to be so powerful that they have prevented the head of the largest Christian organisation in the world from rescuing Christian refugees. It is outrageous! No one has forced the wealthy Islamic countries to take a single Muslim refugee yet, with Christians fleeing slaughter by ISIS, the EU is preventing Christians from rescuing other Christians?

The European Union seems to be as power-mad as the United Nations. Do you seriously trust either of these organisations to make decisions for New Zealand with regards to who we are allowed to rescue? We are a sovereign nation. No one should be able to dictate to us who we are allowed to help. No Muslim religious leaders that I know of have offered rescue to any refugees, Muslim or Christian, but if one did can you imagine the EU forcing them to only take Christians back to their Islamic country?

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