"Let us not forget those brothers and sisters, and the many children, who are suffering there"
Pope Francis’ general audience on Wednesday, March 11, was itself a reminder of Italy’s battle with the coronavirus: The pope sat indoors, surrounded by a small circle of cardinals, as he live-streamed the audience from the Apostolic Library.
At the end, he spoke directly to the victims and those caring for those with Covid-19, as well as those who are worried about it. But within his message was a plea to remember that the fighting and suffering in Syria continues, regardless of the pandemic.
At this moment, I would like to address all those who have the virus and who suffer from the disease, and the many who suffer uncertainty about their own illnesses. My heartfelt thanks go to the hospital staff, the doctors and nurses, the volunteers who are by the side of the people who are suffering at this very difficult time. I thank all Christians, all men and women of good will, who pray for this situation, all united, whatever the religious tradition to which they belong. Thank you very much for this effort. But I would not want this pain, this major epidemic, to make us forget the poor Syrians, who are suffering on the Greek-Turkish border: a people who have been suffering for years. They are forced to flee from war, hunger, and disease. Let us not forget those brothers and sisters, and the many children, who are suffering there.