(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.
OF CARDINAL SECRETARY OF STATE: ANNOUNCEMENT OF DELEGATION IN SYRIA
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:
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.