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» 06/21/2012
VATICAN - MIDEAST
Reconciliation should end violence that could engulf entire region, says pope
Benedict XVI makes a new plea, calling on the international community to assume its responsibilities. He addressed participants at the meeting of the 'Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches' (ROACO).

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In a new, poignant plea about Syria, Benedict XVI called for an end to the "bloodshed and violence, that only bring pain and death, may cease and give way to reconciliation, harmony and peace. Every effort should be made, including by the international community, to bring Syria out of the present situation of violence and crisis, which has already lasted a long time and risks becoming a wider conflict that would have highly negative consequences for the country and the whole region. I also issue an urgent and heartfelt appeal, in view of the extreme need of the population, that the necessary humanitarian assistance be guaranteed, and extended to the many persons who have been forced to leave their homes, some of them becoming refugees in neighbouring countries. The precious gift of human life must always be defended."

The pope, who  spoke at today's meeting of the 'Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches' (ROACO), said "that the Holy Land and the other Eastern regions" should "receive material and spiritual support, in an ordered and just way, so as to meet the demands of their ordinary ecclesial life and other special needs."

In his address to ROACO, the pontiff noted, "The present economic and social situation, all the more sensitive on account of its global dimensions, continues to create problems in economically developed areas of the world, and, more seriously, spills over into less affluent regions, seriously compromising their present and their future. The East, the motherland of ancient Christian traditions, is especially affected by this process, which engenders uncertainty and instability that also has an impact on the Church and in the ecumenical and interreligious fields. These factors tend to reopen the endemic wounds of history and they have a damaging effect on dialogue and peaceful cohabitation among peoples. They also weaken authentic respect for human rights, especially the right to personal and community religious freedom. This right should be guaranteed in its public profession, not only in terms of worship, but also in relation to the pastoral, educational, charitable and social activities that are indispensable for its effective exercise."

Finally, Benedict XVI reiterated his "closeness to the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Syria, especially innocent children and the defenceless. May our prayer, our commitment and our active brotherhood in Christ, as an oil of consolation, help them not to lose sight of the light of hope in this moment of darkness".

May Mary, Mother of God "watch over the coming journey which, God willing, I will make to Lebanon for the solemn closing of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops."

 


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See also
02/12/2012 VATICAN - SYRIA
Pope appeals to Damascus and all to "end violence" and "favour the path of dialogue"
09/01/2013 VATICAN - SYRIA
Pope: a day of prayer for peace in Syria and in the world
06/19/2008 VATICAN
May the Middle East be offered its much-longed-for peace, stability and religious freedom, says Pope
11/07/2012 VATICAN-SYRIA
Pope: "do everything possible" for Syria, "because one day it may be too late"
09/18/2013 VATICAN
Pope: Syrian "tragedy" "can only be resolved through dialogue and negotiation".

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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