Pope Francis said on Monday that oil and weapons seem to weigh more on the scale of economic interests than the lives of thousands of Christians in the Middle East, and while proclaiming peace and justice the world tolerates traffickers of death, Vatican Radio reports.
The Pope’s words of condemnation were pronounced as he greeted participants of ROACO’s 88th Plenary Assembly in the Vatican.
In his address the Pope said the continuing conflict in the Middle East “make us feel the cold of a winter and a frost in the human heart that never seem to end”, and he remarked that “the land in these regions, crossed by the footsteps of those who seek refuge, is irrigated by the blood of so many men and women, including many Christians persecuted for their faith.
Pope Francis spoke with gratitude of the daily work and experience of the “sons and daughters of the Eastern Churches and their Pastors”, who share the suffering of the people and carry out the work of listening and service that is inscribed in the statute of the agencies coordinated by the Congregation for Eastern Churches.
He encouraged the delegates to continue in their humanitarian assistance with a Christian approach promoting people and nations with compassion and mercy.
Looking back to the drama that has been unfolding in the past months, Pope Francis said it would appear that the world’s conscience has been jolted and it has opened its eyes to the fact that Christians have been present in the Middle East for millennia.
And with a heartfelt appeal, Pope Francis encouraged those present to “continue the service of Christian charity, to denounce all that tramples on human dignity.”
Pope Francis also noted that during the Assembly particular attention with be devoted to the situation in Ethiopia and Eritrea.
According to the Official Vatican Network, on the occasion of the centenary memorial of the Medz Yeghern suffered by the Armenian people, a session will be dedicated to the Armenian Catholic Church in Eastern Europe, which is present in Georgia and Russia, as well as Armenia.