human development, social justice and sustainable social systems

“Peace is possible in Syria”

Pope Francis in support of Caritas campaign

Pope Francis is urging governments to find a political solution to the war in Syria as part of the Caritas global campaign “Syria: Peace is Possible”.

“I would like to address all the faithful and all of those who work with Caritas to build a just society,” said Pope Francis in a specially recorded video message (see below).

“Everyone has to recognise that there is no military solution for Syria, only a political one,” said the Pope. “The international community must therefore support peace talks towards the building of a national unity government.”

“I invite you to ask those who are involved in peace talks to take these agreements seriously and to commit to facilitating access to humanitarian aid.”

Dealing with the humanitarian consequences of the five year war in Syria is the largest Caritas relief operation in the world. Caritas provides food, healthcare, basic needs, education, shelter, counselling, protection and livelihoods in Syria and to refugees in host countries. National Caritas organisations reached 1.3 million people last year alone.

Caritas is also urging its supporters around the world to put pressure on their governments to:

  • Ensure all sides of the conflict come together to find a peaceful solution;
  • Support the millions of people affected by the war;
  • Give Syrians inside and outside the country dignity and hope.

“While the people suffer, an incredible amount of money is being spent on giving fighters weapons. Some of the countries providing these arms are also those talking of peace,” said Pope Francis. “How can one believe in those who caress you with the right hand while hitting you with the left?”

Caritas has launched a new website to support the campaign syria.caritas.org which includes specially commissioned artwork from Syrian artist Tammam Azzam, an animated film on the war, an award winning photo series and testimonies from Syrians living both inside the country and as refugees in bordering nations and beyond.

Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has met with Syrians in Lebanon and Greece. He said, “These are not just number, these are human beings. We need to give them hope, dignity and peace. In the names of all the people touched by this conflict, we are appealing to everyone, can we work for peace in Syria.”

Follow the campaign on Twitter #peacepossible4syria

For more information, please contact:

Patrick Nicholson
Director of Communications
Caritas Internationalis
Tel: +39 06 698 79 725
Mob: +39 334 359 0700
nicholson@caritas.va

more information

Caritas Europa
Rue de la Charité 43
1210 Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 280 02 80
Fax: +32 (0)2 230 16 58
info@caritas.eu