Letter comes one day after pontiff says: “No to destruction, yes to peace, yes to the people of Aleppo and Syria”
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has sent a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, through Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, Cardinal Mario Zenari, appealing for “an end to the violence and the peaceful resolution of hostilities” in the country.
According to a statement issued today by the Holy See Press Office: “In naming Archbishop Mario Zenari to the College of Cardinals, the Holy Father sought to show a particular sign of affection for the beloved Syrian people, so sorely tried in recent years.”
The statement continued: “In a letter sent through the new Cardinal, Pope Francis expressed again his appeal to President Bashar al-Assad and to the international community for an end to the violence, and the peaceful resolution of hostilities, condemning all forms of extremism and terrorism from whatever quarter they may come, and appealing to the President to ensure that international humanitarian law is fully respected with regard to the protection of the civilians and access to humanitarian aid.”
Pope Francis’ letter comes one day after he made a special appeal to everyone not to forget Syria.
Following his Angelus address on Sunday, the pope said: “Every day I am close, especially in prayer, to the people of Aleppo. We must not forget that Syria is a country rich in history, culture, and faith. We cannot accept this being negated by war which is an accumulation of injustices and falsehoods. I appeal to everyone’s sense of commitment to make a choice for civilization: No to destruction, yes to peace, yes to the people of Aleppo and Syria.”