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Vatican

Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.
World

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.
Vatican

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.
Vatican

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.
Pope Francis

Pope approves new decrees for the Causes of Saints

December 22, 2016. On Wednesday, December 21, Pope Francis authorized the following decrees for the Causes of Saints:

What's going on in Syria and what's the Church doing to help?

2014-06-06

Syria's civil war is still raging. But beyond its borders, many are becoming desensitized to the conflict and its violence. 

In some Syrian cities, dozens of people are killed every day. In light of this crisis the Vatican is doubling its efforts to help victims. During a recent meeting in Rome, Catholic organizations, who work out on the ground, discussed new strategies to increase support. 

MSGR.MARIO ZENARI
Nuncio in Damascus, Syria
"The biggest challenge is the war itself. When there's shooting and crossfire, humanitarian efforts are limited, because workers have to risk their lives to help out. Sometimes the challenge is a mere lack of good will from different groups.” 

Twenty five Catholic charitable organizations are helping refugees in neighboring countries and also Syrians who still live in the country. The help is given to all, regardless of religious beliefs. Even though Christians are a minority, some say their presence eases the tension. 

MICHEL CONSTANTIN
Director, Catholic Near East Welfare
"When militants from the opposition wanted to get out of the city of Homs, they asked, what guarantee do we have? You see neither side trusted one another. So a Catholic priest, decided to ride the bus with the militants as their guarantee. It was a way to get the city back in order and back to its people. The old city of Homs is mainly inhabited by Christian families. The role of the Christians in the Middle East has always served as bridges between different people who are in conflict.” 

It's estimated that about 2 millions refugees have gone to neighboring countries like Lebanon. Roughly 10,000 people cross the border every day to escape the violence and instability. As the war continues, Church groups are looking at the bigger picture, including the sale of weapons in these conflict ridden areas. 

MICHEL ROY
Secretary General , Caritas International
"If we want peace, we can't sell arms at the same time. Often in these type of civil wars within countries, it's the international interests that are vested interest from abroad that entertained the world and civilian population are the victims. There are for nothing in that’s but the only ones to die and suffer.”

The Pope of course has been very vocal about his opposition to the war in Syria and its rippling effects on the Middle East. He warns about a sense of indifference, where the world can get used to the war...a war that according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has claimed the lives of more than 160,000 people. 



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