Pope Francis: Silence Weapons in Syria

Vatican City, 31 May 2014 (VIS) — Yesterday afternoon the pope delivered a message to the participants in the meeting with Catholic charitable associations who work in the context of the crisis in Syria, organized by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

“We meet again to evaluate the work carried out so far and to renew our will to follow this path,” he writes. “But we must accept with great sorrow that the Syrian crisis has not been resolved, but instead continues, and there is the risk of growing accustomed to it: of forgetting the victims claimed on a daily basis, the unspeakable suffering, the thousands of refugees, which include the elderly and children, who suffer and at times die of hunger and of diseases causes by the conditions of war. This indifference is harmful! Once again we must repeat the name of this illness that does so much damage in today’s world: the globalization of indifference.”

He continues: “The action of peace and the work of humanitarian aid carried out by Catholic charitable entities in this context constitute a faithful expression of God’s love for his children, who find themselves in conditions of oppression and anguish. God hears their cry, he knows their suffering and he wishes to free them; and you lend your hands and your abilities to him. … This meeting offers a useful opportunity to identify suitable forms of stable collaboration, in dialogue between the various actors, in order to improve the organization of our efforts to support the local churches and all the victims of the war, without distinction on ethnic, religious or social grounds.”

Pope Francis launches a further appeal to the consciences of the parties to the conflict, to world institutions and public opinion, and affirms: “We are all aware that the future of humanity is built with peace and not by war: war destroys, kills and impoverishes peoples and countries. I ask that all parties, with a view to the common good, immediately consent to humanitarian aid and to silence their weapons as soon as possible, making efforts to negotiate and to make their first priority the well-being of Syria, of all her inhabitants, including the many who have had to seek refuge elsewhere and who have the right to return to their homeland as soon as possible. I think in particular of the dear Christian communities, the face of a church who suffers and hopes. Their survival in the Middle East is of profound concern to the universal church; Christianity must be able to continue to live there, where its origins lie.”

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