Pope Decries 'Globalization of Indifference' Towards Syria

Praises Catholic Charities in Country for Expressing God’s Love to the Suffering

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Pope Francis has decried global indifference to the war in Syria and underlined that Christianity must be able to continue to live there, where its origins lie.

In a message to members of Catholic charitable associations meeting in Rome to discuss the crisis in Syria, the Pope said: “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!,” the Pope said. “Once again we must repeat the name of this illness that does so much damage in today’s world: the globalisation of indifference”.

In the message to Saturday’s meeting, organised by the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, he continued: “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 organisation 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 launched a further appeal to the consciences of the parties to the conflict, to world institutions and public opinion, and affirmed: “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.”

The Pope singled out “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,” Francis said. “Christianity must be able to continue to live there, where its origins lie”.

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