- Apr 16, 2021
A week after the Vatican called on the international community to lift the sanctions imposed against Syria, an official from the United States Department of State argued that they target the “regime and criminal behavior” of Bashar al-Assad and not the people.
When Michael La Civita of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association considers how the agency prioritizes where to send aid, he says the best way to describe it is like a “triage,” given the crises so many countries face.
Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, visiting from the patriarchate in Beirut, led about 20,000 Christians through the streets of Qaraqosh Palm Sunday, March 28.
The palm tree fronds in the convent garden of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary rustle loudly in the brisk wind of an early spring dust storm, but, stepping into the chapel of the Church of the Beatitudes, there is silence.
Israel marks its national Holocaust Memorial Day April 8. An estimated 180,000 Holocaust survivors live in Israel, with approximately one-third living in poverty. Some 13,000 die every year.
During this year of COVID-19 lockdowns and lack of international pilgrimages, the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has had to adjust its funding priorities and trim its budgeting, and difficult though that has been, Father Ramzi Sidawi fears the worst is still to come.
Several Catholic leaders in Syria and the heads of major aid organizations have joined forces in condemning economic sanctions against the country, arguing that they have little political impact but make the people suffer.
Several top Church officials in Syria, including the Vatican’s ambassador to the country, have praised Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq earlier this month, saying the visit sent a message of hope to the entire region.