Pope asks diplomats to seek peace, appeals for Syria


Vatican City (CNA) – Pope Benedict gave a wide-ranging address Jan. 7 to a group of diplomats urging an end to the “slaughter” in Syria and stressing the “grave responsibility” to work for peace around the word.

“I renew my appeal for a ceasefire (in Syria) and the inauguration as quickly as possible of a constructive dialogue,” he said at the Apostolic Palace.

He asked that the officials alert their respective countries to help make essential aid available for the “grave humanitarian situation” in Syria.

At least 60,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in the 21-month civil war.

Pope Benedict also voiced “deep concern” about the Holy Land. With the United Nations’ recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state, he hopes that Israelis and Palestinians will “commit themselves to peaceful coexistence” in a framework of “two sovereign states.”

Pope on New Year’s Day: find inner peace in God

“…Although the world is sadly marked by ‘hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor, by the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism,’ as well as by various forms of terrorism and crime, I am convinced that ‘the many different efforts at peacemaking which abound in our world testify to mankind’s innate vocation to peace. In every person the desire for peace is an essential aspiration which coincides in a certain way with the desire for a full, happy and successful human life. In other words, the desire for peace corresponds to a fundamental moral principle, namely, the duty and right to an integral social and communitarian development, which is part of God’s plan for mankind.’”


How a tweet from the Pope originates
[L’Osservatore Romano]

“In an interview with ‘Tgcom24′ [an Italian news source] Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, spoke on how Benedict XVI’s tweets come about. ‘The appointed departments of the Secretariat of State prepare a text which the Pope then must approve.  We believe and strongly desire that the tweets be truly from Benedict XVI’, said Archbishop Celli.  Responding to the questions of Federico Novella and Fabio Marchese Ragona, the Archbishop stressed that ‘the Pope attends to the texts’.  Archbishop Celli did not hide that the comments on the tweets have not always been positive. ‘A bit of everything came in.  We have received the most beautiful messages from all ages of young people, and with differing content – at times joking, offensive and critical messages too; but, for us who live in these circumstances, it was no surprise, I confess.  We were fully aware of what would happen: when the Pope wishes to enter into dialogue with modern man and puts himself on that level, there are risks to be taken and borne’.