Saturday the 12th of June

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

Power struggle in Syria is ‘workshop of cruelty,’ pope says

Where there is no tenderness, there is cruelty and what is unfolding in Syria is a veritable “workshop of cruelty,” Pope Francis told governing members of Caritas Internationalis.

“I believe the greatest illness of today is cardiac sclerosis,” he said on 17th November, implying a kind of hardening of the heart that renders a person unable to feel compassion or be moved by another’s suffering.

An example of this, he said, is Syria and how so many parties are involved in the conflict, each bent on seeking its own interests and not the freedom and well-being of the people.

“Where there is no tenderness, there is always cruelty. And what is happening today in Syria is cruelty. There are intersecting interests, a workshop of cruelty,” he said.

At the meeting of the Caritas Internationalis’ representative council, Pope Francis also discussed the dangers of bureaucracies and his hope that Caritas would not be one.

Picture: A child plays with a balloon in Douma, Syria, on 13th November. Pope Francis has called events unfolding in the war-torn country a veritable “workshop of cruelty.” (CNS photo/Bassam Khabieh, Reuters).