“How can you believe in someone who caresses you with the right hand and strikes you with the left hand?”
These are the powerful and pointed words of one of the greatest spiritual leaders the church has seen in my lifetime. The pontiff didn’t name any specific countries but it’s hard to imagine any list of global hypocrites without Saudi Arabia at the top!
Let’s take the Pope’s words to heart and continue to work and pray for an end to Syria’s suffering.
The text that follows is extracted from a Vatican press release.
Vatican City, 5 July 2016
“Today I want to speak to you about something that saddens my heart a lot: the war in Syria, now in its fifth year. It is a situation of unspeakable suffering that the Syrian people are victims of, forced to survive under bombs or to find escape routes to other countries or areas of Syria that are less war-torn: to leave their own home, everything… I also think about the Christian communities, which I give my full support to for the discrimination they have to bear.
So I want to turn to all the faithful and those that are committed, with Caritas, to the construction of a more just society. While the people suffer, incredible quantities of money are being spent to supply weapons to fighters. And some of the countries supplying these arms are also among those that talk of peace. How can you believe in someone who caresses you with the right hand and strikes you with the left hand?
I encourage all, adults and young people, to live the Holy Year of Mercy enthusiastically to overcome indifference and proclaim with strength that peace in Syria is possible! Peace in Syria is possible!
For this, we are called to embody this Word of God: ‘I know the plans that I have for you’, declares the Lord. ‘They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope’. (Jeremiah, 29,11)
The invitation is to pray for peace in Syria and for its people at prayer vigils, at awareness-raising initiatives in groups, parishes and in communities, to spread the message of peace, a message of unity and hope.
Works of peace then follow prayer. I invite you to call on those who are involved in peace negotiations to take these agreements seriously and to make every effort to facilitate access to humanitarian aid.
Everyone has to recognise that there is no military solution for Syria, but only a political solution. The international community must therefore support the peace talks heading towards the construction of a government of national unity.
Let’s join forces, at all levels, to ensure that peace in beloved Syria is possible. Now that really will be a great example of mercy and love lived for the good of all the international community!
May the Lord bless you and may Mary Most Holy protect you.