Vatican Delegation to Syria Canceled

Deteriorating conditions in Syria prompted Pope Benedict XVI to cancel a planned visit by a delegation of cardinals and bishops. Instead, the pope announced on Nov. 7 that he had sent a smaller group, including Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, to Lebanon to deliver a $1 million donation and boost the church’s humanitarian response to the crisis. The pope appealed for dialogue to end the conflict. “I renew my invitation to the parties in conflict,” he said, “and to all those who have the good of Syria at heart, to spare no effort in the search for peace and to pursue through dialogue the path to a just coexistence…. I continue to follow with great concern the tragic situation of violent conflict in Syria, where the fighting has not ceased and each day the toll of victims rises, accompanied by the untold suffering of many civilians, especially those who have been forced to abandon their homes.”

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