- Apr 13, 2021
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.
The support of Catholics worldwide is an invaluable resource for small Christian communities in the Middle East who have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Vatican official said.
With a North American charity as its main collaborator, the Congregation for Eastern Churches’ COVID-19 emergency fund distributed more than $11.7 million in aid, including food and hospital ventilators in 21 countries where members of the Eastern Catholic churches live.
In the name of Pope Francis, the Congregation for Eastern Churches said it is sending 10 ventilators to Syria and three to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Jerusalem to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Vatican has asked Catholic bishops around the world, both in the Latin rite and the Eastern Catholic Churches, to provide their faithful with resources to support personal and family prayer during Holy Week and at Easter, especially where COVID-19 restrictions prevent them from going to church.
The Middle East, which continues to face many hardships and challenges, needs the ongoing support of Catholics around the world, a Vatican official said.
Two Vatican developments have occurred over the last week, neither of which on its own amounts to a thunderclap, but each of which, in its own way, is still noteworthy.
Iraqis and Syrians returning to their homelands and refugees living abroad need the help of all Catholics and people of goodwill, said the Congregation for Eastern Churches.