Vatican City, 31 March 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" today published a communique announcing that the Pope has made a donation of 100,000 US dollars in support of the people of Syria.
The communique mentions the numerous appeals Benedict XVI has made for an end to violence in Syria and for the opening of dialogue and reconciliation between the conflicting parties, with a view to peace and the common good. The Holy Father has also frequently exhorted the faithful to pray for those who suffer. "Now", the communique says, "the Pope has chosen to donate the sum of 100,000 US dollars, through the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum', for the charitable activities of the local Church in Syria in support of the suffering population". In order to ensure the delivery of the aid, meetings have been planned with His Beatitude Gregorios III Laham, president of the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria, and with other representatives of the local Church.
Finally, the communique notes that, through her charity organisations, the Catholic Church in Syria is currently involved in assistance projects, particularly in the areas of Homs and Aleppo.
On another front, "Cor Unum" is to finance agricultural development projects in two Cuban dioceses, according to today's "Osservatore Romano". This is the first concrete result of Benedict XVI's recent apostolic visit to the island, on which he was accompanied by Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", who met with Cuban bishops to discuss possible initiatives in support of the population. Two of the bishops, having informed the cardinal that they had received State permission to work for and with farmers in their dioceses, presented two projects which will be realised with the help of "Cor Unum".