VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican ambassador to Syria said the international community must help find a political solution to the “serious crisis” continuing in the country.
Speaking to Vatican Radio Aug. 21 after reports of chemical attacks outside Damascus, Archbishop Mario Zenari described the images circulating on the Internet and television “truly shocking.”
The images, which could not be immediately verified, triggered calls for an independent investigation. Syrian opposition forces said more than 1,000 people died in the attacks; other activists put the number in the hundreds. If confirmed, it would be the worst reported use of chemical arms in the civil war that started in March 2011.
Syrian state television denied government forces had used poison gas and said the accusations were intended to distract a team of U.N. chemical weapons experts in Syria. The United Nations scheduled a special meeting that afternoon to discuss the incident.
“People here are fed up” with the war, Archbishop Zenari told Vatican Radio. “They are crying out to the international community to say, ‘Help us so that this war would end immediately. We have had enough; we can’t take it anymore. We can’t continue like this.'”
In late July, U.S. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said more than 100,000 people had been killed in the Syrian civil war. More than 1.7 million have fled to neighboring countries.
Within a week in mid-August, authorities said more than 30,000 Syrians crossed the border into northern Iraq.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103