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“The Pope sent me to Syria to bring families some help and Gospels in Arabic”

2016-01-19

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia travelled to Syria in mid-November to bring the families of Damascus a double gift from Pope Francis.

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
President, Pontifical Council for Family
"The Pope sent me to Syria to bring 5,000 Gospels in Arabic and more than 100,000 euros to help families heat their homes during the winter, which is very cold in Damascus. The Gospels to warm their hearts, and the money to warm their houses.”

The papal envoy met with dozens of families in the Melkite Cathedral of Damascus. He talked to many of them and heard their stories.

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
President, Pontifical Council for Family
"I have seen families with serious difficulties. The five years of war, five years of embargo, have brought the people to their knees. They are suffering in all senses. The shortage of medicines and the cold are causing great apprehension, and the people are oppressed with so many types of violence.”

The situation is terrible. Some 4 million Syrians have fled the country; two and a half million children cannot go to school, hospitals are enduring a continuous emergency, especially since 35,000 doctors have fled the war. Archbishop Paglia has appealed for an immediate solution to the crisis.

ARCH. VINCENZO PAGLIA
President, Pontifical Council for Family
"If we want to defeat terrorism and stop the dramatic flow of migrants, many who die trying to escape, it is urgent to bring about peace in Syria. Each side needs to put aside special interests and understand that the common good depends on establishing peace in Syria. It is possible to open a new chapter, but if not, we will continue to mourn the deaths.”

According to the UN, over the past year one million people have risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean to escape and search for a better life. Of these, half were from Syria.


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