(JNS.org) Pope Francis, speaking to an audience of
Middle Eastern Christian leaders and Catholic aid workers in the region,
expressed gratitude for the years of difficulty they have faced in the
“Christian name” and for having “kept the faith,” Vatican Radio reported.
Addressing the plenary assembly of Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches, a Catholic organization founded in 1968, Pope Francis spoke about his concern for “so many brothers and sisters who live in a situation of insecurity and seemingly interminable violence, which does not spare the innocent and most helpless.”
Pope Francis also renewed his call to “the leaders of nations and of international organizations, to believers of every religion, and to women and men of good will to put an end to all suffering, to all violence, to all religious, cultural and social discrimination.” He called on them “to do everything possible to alleviate the grave necessities of the stricken populations, especially of Syria, as well as the ever increasing number of refugees and displaced persons.”
The address by the Pope concluded a three-day assembly that focused on issues of the Oriental Churches. The first morning of the assembly was dedicated solely to the situation in Syria. Other sessions and speeches were devoted to the deteriorating situation in Egypt, the renewal of the Chaldean Church in Iraq, and churches in Israel.