Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - The President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad met the representatives of Catholic humanitarian associations and institutions and the representatives of various ecclesial groups on Saturday March 19 who had previously taken part in the international conference that took place from March 15 to 17 in Damascus Congress Center of Damascus, on the initiative of the Council of Heads of the Catholic Churches present in Syria, the Congregation for the Eastern Churches and the Apostolic Nuncio to the Arab Republic of Syria, Cardinal Mario Zenari (see Fides, 11/3/2022 and 15/3/2022).
In the dialogue he had with those present - report the communication channels of the Syrian Presidency - President Assad underlined the importance of the humanitarian aid initiatives, which were the focus of the conference, and praised the work done by Catholic institutions for the benefit of the entire Syrian people.
In the detailed reports of the Conference released by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, it is mentioned among other things that in his speech on Wednesday, March 16, the representative of Caritas Syria referred to the situation of persistent poverty, "which is caused by years of war and has been exacerbated by international sanctions which not only drastically increase the cost of living but also force many to consider emigration, making the poor poorer and poorer".
According to reports, the Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, together with the delegation of the Holy See left Damascus on Thursday, March 17, before the Divine Liturgy at the Greek-Melkite Cathedral, presided over by the Greek-Melkite Patriarch Youssef Absi. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 21/3/2022)