Pope: Holy Thursday collection to support Syrian refugees

Pope Benedict has announced that the collection money from Holy Thursday evening Mass in the basilica of St John Lateran will be used for humanitarian aid in support of Syrian refugees.

The Maronite Archbishop of Damascus Samir Nassar, labelled the Pope’s action is “a very generous gesture”.

“It is a gesture of closeness and solidarity that has a strong meaning for us in this Lenten time and of great suffering: it makes the universal Church feel closer to its faithful in difficulty”.

“We keep in mind and we hope that the messages sent by Benedict XVI for a ceasefire, peace, dialogue, freedom in Syria are fulfilled”, the Archbishop told Fides, the information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies.

The gesture comes amid reports that almost the entire Christian population of Homs has fled the Syrian city and the homes of Christians in Homs have been attacked and seized by fanatics.

Aid to the Church in Need, reports that 90% of Christians have been expelled amid what it is called ‘an ongoing ethnic cleansing’ of Christians by militant Islamic groups with links to Al Qaeda.


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