Friday the 6th of August

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Vatican officials visit war-torn city of Aleppo

Conveying Pope Francis’ closeness to the Syrian people, a Vatican delegation visited Aleppo following the end of the hostilities that left thousands dead and the city in ruins.

Mgr Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary-delegate of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, visited the city from 18th to 23rd January, accompanied by Cardinal Mario Zenari, apostolic nuncio to Syria, and Mgr Thomas Habib, an official at the nunciature, the Vatican said on 24th January.

The delegation met with ‘Christian communities and their pastors, who expressed gratitude to the pope for his constant concern for beloved Syria,’ the statement said.

They also visited several refugee camps and Catholic institutions assisting in relief efforts, including a humanitarian assistance centre run by Caritas Aleppo.

According to the Vatican, during a meeting with the Church’s charitable institutions, Mgr Dal Toso and the delegation emphasised the importance of providing relief assistance to the Syrian people.

‘With the support of the universal Church and thanks to the generous contribution of the international community, such help may be intensified in the future to meet the growing needs of the people,’ the Vatican said.

Picture: Boys carry sandwiches in Aleppo, Syria. Conveying Pope Francis’ closeness to the Syrian people, a Vatican delegation visited Aleppo from 18th to 23rd January following the end of the hostilities that left thousands dead and the city in ruins. (CNS photo/Khalil Ashawi, Reuters).