Mumbai (AsiaNews) - It is with "deep sorrow and grief" that the Church in India has learned of "the attack on the Damascus Nunciature", which took place this morning. As president of the Episcopal Commission of India (CBCI), Card. Oswald Gracias sent a message of solidarity to Msgr. Mario Zenari nuncio in Syria on behalf of the 18 million Catholics in the country. Following is the full text of the message.
"We express deep sorrow and consternation on learning of the attack on the Nunciature in Damascus. We admire the courage of the Nuncio Msgr Mario Zenari who continues to stay there, it is of utmost urgency, that measures be taken as to guarantee the security and safety of the diplomatic mission and its personnel.
The diplomatic see of the Vatican, is the Holy Father's house in Syria, Pope Francis has consistently appealed for Peace in Syria, taking the initiative calling for Global Day of Prayer for Syria on 7th Sept. Pope Francis has urged world leaders not to plunge humanity further into a 'spiral of sorrow and death.
The Church in India is traumatized and anguished as the humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate rapidly, innocent people have been caught in the relentless barrage from all sides, their lives destroyed and lost.
The Church in Asia agonizes over the devastating impact of the Syrian conflict on women and children, the conflict exacts a heavy toll on women who suffer hardship and fear alone, the conflict is a constant source of fear and anxiety for people, child refugees now number around one million.
Peace talks remian the only option to resolve the Syria crisis ... Dialogue can end the Syrian conflict, safeguard the lives of the people and build a viable future. The Church in India, our 18 million Catholics, pray that the land of Syria find peace."