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Papal plea for peace in Syria

Catholic World News - June 21, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI challenged international leaders to “spare no effort to help Syria emerge from its current situation of violence and crisis,” during a June 21 audience with representatives of the Reunion of Organizations for Aid to the Oriental Churches (ROACO).

The Pope called attention to “the dire need of the population” in Syria, urging humanitarian relief for the thousands of people who have been driven from their homes, many of them now seeking refuge in other countries. He encouraged the ROACO participants to pray for the Syrian people, “in particular the young innocents and those most defenseless.” The prayers of the universal Church, he said, could “help them not to lose the light of hope at this moment of darkness.”

Speaking more generally about the difficulties facing Christians in the Middle East, the Pontiff observed that worldwide economic crisis “generates insecurity and instability” in the region, aggravating existing problems. He thanked the people of ROACO for their work in helping Christians to remain in the Middle East, a “homeland to ancient Christian traditions.”

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