“I think first and foremost of Syria, torn apart by endless slaughter and the scene of dreadful suffering among its civilian population,” 85-year-old Benedict told ambassadors to the Holy See gathered at the Vatican.
“I renew my appeal for a ceasefire and the inauguration as quickly as possible of a constructive dialogue aimed at putting an end to a conflict which will know no victors but only vanquished if it continues, leaving behind it nothing but a field of ruins,” he said.
The pope asked the ambassadors representing the 179 countries accredited at the Holy See to pass the message on to their governments “so that essential aid will urgently be made available to face this grave humanitarian situation.”
Benedict has repeatedly called for a ceasefire in Syria. He used his Christmas message to call for an end to the bloodshed in the country, whose people have been “deeply wounded and divided by a conflict which does not spare even the defenseless and reaps innocent victims.”