Vatican City turns away journalist posing as Syrian refugee

It appears Vatican City has ignored Pope Francis' call to support refugees after an Italian journalist, posing as a Syrian refugee, was repeatedly turned away.

Pope Francis support for refugees has been critiqued by some right-wing Catholics who say the Vatican isn't doing enough.REUTERS

A six minute video was produced by Italian TV channel LA7 and shows a journalist of Arabic origin, who had grown his beard and nails, posing as a Syrian refugee in Rome. He requested help from several priests and Vatican officials but was turned away on each attempt.

In one instance the reporter tried to speak to a representative of the Sisters of Charity of Saints Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa Bartolomea. He was ignored by the representative despite their website promising to help those in need.

"I will help the poor more than I can. [I] will endeavor to get to know those who are truly in need, and to these I will make them feel my love more widely," the website states.

Francis called for tangible support for refugees in an address from St Peter's Basilica in early September.

"Before the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death in conflict and hunger and are on a journey of hope, the gospel calls us to be close to the smallest and to those who have been abandoned," he said.

"May every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe, take in one family." 

The video has brought criticism of the Vatican and the perceived gap between Francis' rhetoric and action by the Church.