Card. Maradiaga: stop to the arms trade nurturing the Syrian conflict
(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Maradiaga is warning that the International Community’s slow
response to the Syrian crisis could be tragically reminiscent of the Balkans crisis
of the ‘90s.
Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni, Cardinal Maradiaga
said that while bloodshed continues to increase in Syria “the international community
is so quiet and so slow in trying to be present there. I wouldn’t like to have another
situation like the Balkans in the ‘90s where finally peace was achieved, but with
a great sufferance of the people. It is the same now in Syria”.
Rodriguez Maradiaga, President of Caritas Internationalis also calls for a halt to
the arms trade that he says is nurturing the conflict.
And the Cardinal speaks
of the ongoing tension in Gaza and of the dramatic situation in the Democratic Republic
of Congo, a conflict brought to the attention of the world also thanks to Pope Benedict
XVIth’s appeal for peace there at the Wednesday General Audience… Listen
to the interview…
country has suffered a lot because of wars, so it is necessary to avoid more sufferance
to the people. They are really in panic, especially in the region of Goma”.
Maradiaga says he was recently in the area to participate in a meeting for all the
bishops of Caritas in Africa and the bishops already made an appeal and will do so
He says the main problem there is economic: “that region of Goma is
very rich in strategic minerals” and this is why Rwanda and also the South of Uganda
is involved. Cardinal Maradiaga appeals to all to pray that there may not be another
war. And he calls on the international community to become involved and help stop
the spread of lingering hatred.
And, again referring to the role of the international
community, Cardinal Maradiaga says the situation in Syria reminds him of what happened
in the Balkan regions in the 1990s when it took so long to intervene for peace.
Maradiaga points to the arms trade as one of the reasons why many of the countries
with the power of veto in the UN have not taken a stand against the Syrian conflict.
says the Pope’s voice is the only moral one that remains. “That’s why his voice is
so important in knocking the doors of the consciences in order to think in a human
way, not in a materialistic way”.
One of the main concerns for those
involved in humanitarian aid – the Cardinal says – is the situation of migrants, especially
now that winter approaches.
And he speaks of the situation in Gaza and expresses
preoccupation for the sanctions Israel has applied to the Palestinians after the UN
recognised Observer Status to the Palestinian people.
It is also sad – Cardinal
Maradiaga says – as we begin this Christmas season, to see that many nations have
cancelled Christmas. They are only having holidays. “Happy holidays without Christ”
– he says – are not really holidays at all “because the origin of Christmas comes
from the birth of Christ”. And this attitude “can lead only to indifference”. “The
presence of Christ is the only moral orientation for a world that is sunk in materialism
and only seeking the God of gold.”