Holy See convenes special meeting on Middle East violence

E-mail Print PDF

Pope Francis convened a special meeting at the Vatican, October 2-4, 2014, of the representatives of the Holy See in the Middle East, as well as to the United Nations and the European Union, to discuss the continuing violence in the Middle East. The meeting has issued a statement, entitled "No more war and violations of human rights!" The news organization Zenit reported that "The participants ... reaffirmed that it is licit to stop the unjust aggressor, always in accordance with international law. Nevertheless, the resolution of the problem cannot be entrusted solely to a military response; the problem must be dealt with more radically by addressing the root causes which are exploited by fundamentalist ideology." 

At the opening of the meeting, the Holy Father spoke of his concern about the situations of conflict and for the phenomenon of terrorism which holds that human lives have no value. He noted the problem of arms trafficking is at the basis of many of the problems, and drew attention again to the humanitarian drama taking place. Pope Francis expressed his hope that multi-level initiatives and actions could be identified to manifest the solidarity of all the Church with the Christians of the Middle East, and that the international community would be involved in responding to the needs of the many people suffering in the region. 

Following the meeting, His Eminence Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for His Holiness, presided at a Mass in Saint Peter's Basilica with the participants who had been involved in the meeting. In his homily, Cardinal Parolin said "The Church cannot remain silent before the persecution of her sons and daughters, and the international community cannot remain neutral between victims and the aggressor." 

The previous week, Cardinal Parolin gave a major address to the General Assembly of the United Nations. Speaking on the situation in northern Iraq and parts of Syria, the Secretary of State said "it is both licit and urgent to stop aggression through multilateral action and a proportionate use of force." At the same time, he urged "a multilateral approach that will better serve human dignity, and protect and advance integral human development throughout the world." His address has been published in full by Osservatore romano. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, October 07 2014  
The Holy See
Canadian Centre for Ecumenism
Catholic Organization for Life and Family
Salt + Light
wydcanada en quicklink DP EN Quick   

2018synod en
Amoris Laetitia Reflection Guide
wydcanada en logo
Euthanasia EN


On January 13th 2010, Most Reverend Vincent Nguyen became Canada’s first Catholic Bishop of East Asian descent. He is the great-grandson of a Vietnamese Martyr.