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Focus on aiding victims of violence, not arming rebels, says Caritas leader

September 18, 2014

In an apparent criticism of calls to arm Syrian rebel forces, the secretary-general of Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s federation of relief and development agencies, called upon political leaders to turn their focus to victims of Middle East violence.

Michel Roy told Vatican Radio that “the international community is focusing more on helping the rebels or helping this group or that group with arms, which have a very high cost, and not giving to help the victims of the wars that they’ve been supporting and sometimes fueling as well.”

“Caritas organizations are overwhelmed as needs grow and resources shrink,” he added. “This is far beyond our capacity and anyone else’s. A major move has to take place as we cannot accept that millions of people, whole societies, that used to live together in peace, are destroyed.”


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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Sep. 18, 2014 8:38 PM ET USA

    The problem with this is that if something military isn't done -- even the pope urged this kind of defensive action -- Islamic State will continue to slaughter Christians. It may be wise or unwise to attempt to arm the rebels rather than to try some other military option, a policy decision after all, but to think that no military intervention at all is necessary is simply irresponsible.