Vatican official says Pope, local Church helping sustain Syrians

Monsignor Giampietro Dal Toso, Secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, speaks during a conference at the Vatican on April 13, 2012.
Monsignor Giampietro Dal Toso, Secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, speaks during a conference at the Vatican on April 13, 2012.

.- The secretary for the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Monsignor Giampetro dal Toso, says Pope Benedict and Syrian Church are helping sustain locals amid continuing violence in the country.

In an interview with CNA on April 13 in Rome, Msgr. Dal Toso explained that when the Pope sent a donation of $100,000 to help Catholics in Syria, he did so “because of the great concern he has” for this issue.

On his recent visit to Syria at the end of March to deliver the Pope’s aid and meet with local bishops, Msgr. Dal Toso said that the council was able to demonstrate “the Pope’s concern for the people of Syria who are suffering from this complex political situation.”

Although his trip to the volatile country was brief, the secretary underscored that it “was very important for the local Church to receive this concrete sign of the Holy Father's concern.”

Msgr. Dal Toso voiced hope that the conflict in Syria would not take on a religious tone, and he encouraged the faithful to continue contributing to Caritas Syria and Caritas Lebanon to help those who are suffering.

Caritas Lebanon is currently providing food and medicine for more than 20,000 Syrian refugees.

Msgr. Dal Toso called on Catholics around the world to “pray for their brethren in Syria, regardless of religion, because both Christians and Muslims are suffering there. It is important that we show them we are spiritually close.”

“I think we all need to join forces especially at this time, so that a path towards peace and reconciliation in Syria can be found,” he said.

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