2012-10-17 07:40:50

Cardinal Bertone announces delegation to Syria

(Vatican Radio) Opening the General Congregation of the Synod of Bishops yesterday evening, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State took the floor to express to the Syrian population the closeness of the Holy Father, the Synodal Fathers and other Participants in the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. In the Cardinal Secretary of State’s words was the announcement of a Delegation in Syria and a prayer that in the Country a political solution to the appalling tragedy might be found, that the suffering, weak and displaced might be protected, that reason and compassion might prevail.

The complete text of the intervention follows.


Most Holy Father,
Most Eminent and Most Excellent Synodal Fathers,
Dear brothers and sisters,
We cannot be mere spectators of a tragedy like the one that is unfolding in Syria: some of the interventions we have heard in the hall bear witness to this.
Certain that the solution to the crisis cannot be but political and thinking of the immense suffering of the population, the fate of the evacuees as well as the future of that nation, some of us suggested that our synodal assembly might express its solidarity.
The Holy Father has thus arranged for a delegation to make its way in the next few days to Damascus with the aim of expressing, in his name and in all our names:
our fraternal solidarity to the whole population, with a personal offering from the Synodal Fathers as well as from the Holy See;
our spiritual closeness to our Christian brothers and sisters;
our encouragement to all those who are involved in the search for an agreement that respects the rights and duties of all with particular attention to what is demanded by humanitarian law.

The delegation will be made up of:

Synodal Fathers:
- His Em. Card. Laurent Mosengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa;
- His Em. Card. Jean-Louis Tauran, President of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue;
- His Em. Card. Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York;
- His Exc. Mons. Fabio Suescun Mutis, Military Ordinary of Colombia;
- His Exc. Mons. Joseph Nguyen Nang, Bishop of Phat Diem;

In addition to the Synodal Fathers quoted above, the following persons are part of the delegation:
- His Exc. Mons. Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State;
- Mons. Alberto Ortega, Official of the Secretariat of State.

It is expected that once the necessary formalities have been carried out with the Apostolic Nuncio and the local authorities, the Delegation will make its way to Damascus next week.
In the meantime time we pray that reason and compassion might prevail.

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