17-October-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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Holy Father To Send A Delegation To Damascus

Vatican City, 17 October 2012 (VIS) - During yesterday afternoon's session of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. announced that the Holy Father will shortly be sending a delegation to Damascus, Syria, to express, in the name of the Pope and the entire Church, "fraternal solidarity with the entire population, with a personal offering from the Synod Fathers as well as from the Holy See". The delegation will also express "spiritual closeness to our Christian brothers and sisters" and encourage "all those involved in seeking an agreement respectful of the rights and duties of all, with particular attention to the demands of humanitarian law".

We cannot, Cardinal Bertone said, "be mere spectators of a tragedy such as the one that is unfolding in Syria. In the certainty that the only possible solution to the crisis is a political solution, and bearing in mind the immense suffering of the population, the fate of displaced persons, and the future of that nation, it has been suggested that our synodal assembly express its solidarity. ... 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".

"The delegation will be made up of the following Synod Fathers: Cardinal Laurent Mosengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue; Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, U.S.A.; Bishop Fabio Suescun Mutis, military ordinary of Colombia, and Bishop Joseph Nguyen Nang of Phat Diem, Vietnam. Also on the delegation will be Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, and Msgr. Alberto Ortega, official of the Secretariat of State.

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