VATICAN CITY, OCT. 23, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Here is the translation of Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone’s Intervention at the Synod of Bishops regarding the Holy See’s Delegation to Syria.
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Last Tuesday, I announced before this assembly the decision of the Holy Father to send a Delegation to Damascus to express his solidarity, and that of the Synod and of the whole Church, to the population of Syria, which unfortunately has been living for some time a tragic situation of suffering, while manifesting our spiritual closeness to our Christian brothers and sisters of that country, along with our encouragement to all those committed in the search for a solution that is respectful of the rights and duties of all.
The initiative has had wide interest not only here in Rome and Syria but also at the international level, receiving a positive reception.
I wish to communicate to you first of all that, afterwards, we continued to study the issue and to prepare the visit, notwithstanding the tragic events that have taken place in past days in the Region.
As noted, there is a keen desire to express the closeness of the Holy See and of the universal Church, through a Delegation that will travel to Damascus at a time and a manner that will be announced, after they have been defined in the light of contacts and preparations that are being carried out. Considering the gravity of the situation, the visit will be postponed, probably beyond the conclusion of the Synod, as will any changes in the composition of the Delegation, due to the commitments of its members.
The contribution of the personal offers of the Synodal Fathers together with those of the Holy See will be sent to Syria after the Synod, as a gesture of fraternal solidarity to the whole population. Above all, the commitment to prayer continues, which is always heard by the Lord, and which I invite you to join with renewed trust.[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]