Syria Nuncio Appeals for End of Bloodshed

Archbishop Zenari Expresses Gratitude for Pope’s Solidarity With Syrian People

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By Junno Arocho

DAMASCUS, Syria, AUG. 1, 2012 ( The apostolic nuncio to Syria, Archbishop Mario Zenari, is thanking Benedict XVI for papal words of support and solidarity with the suffering Syrian people.

The archbishop commented to Vatican Radio about the Pope’s appeal, made after the recitation of the Angelus on Sunday. He called on the international community assist in humanitarian efforts and appealed for an end to the bloodshed. 

“The appeal of the Holy Father for the cessation of the violence in Syria, and his solidarity with the sufferings of the people, was of great consolation,” said Archbishop Zenari, who was appointed to Syria at the end of 2008. 

The nuncio went on to describe the situation in the region as “very, very grave”. 

“At this moment,” he said, “the feeling among the people is of a great [uncertainty]. Let me say in these days, the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games was a joyful celebration of the universal brotherhood. What contrasts our brothers and sisters are living this moment in Syria!”

“Nevertheless the celebration remains a sign of hope. The flame of universal brotherhood will never be extinguished by the fratricidal winds that are blowing in some parts of the world. It will be lighted here again with international solidarity,” the 66-year-old archbishop affirmed.

The Italian prelate made an appeal to religious leaders in the country to use their “moral authority” to plead with those involved in the conflict to end the bloodshed and violence against the Syrian people. “Come together all of you and with all the strength of your moral authority,” Archbishop Zenari said. 

“Launch a joint and severe warning to the parties [involved in] the conflict, to stop in the name of God the violence and repression that is taking the country to destruction, terrible sufferings and death. Ask them to have the courage to undertake, immediately and in all sincerity with the assistance of the international community, the path to a just solution to the crisis.”

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