Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/29/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Marks first time Assad had contacted Pope Francis directly; contents of message not divulged

Three years after a disastrous civil war has all but totally destroyed and destabilized his nation, Syrian President Bashar Assad has sent Pope Francis a private message. The Vatican confirmed the delivery of the message, but did not disclose its contents.

It was the first known time Assad has sent the pontiff a message since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011.

It was the first known time Assad has sent the pontiff a message since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/29/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: President Bashar al-Assad, Pope francis, message, Civil war, Vatican


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was the first known time Assad has sent the pontiff a message since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011. The pope has long made overtures to the international community to bring the Syrian conflict to a peaceful end. Pope Francis reiterated his request as recently as Christmas Day.

Vatican sources said the message likely included the Syrian government's position ahead of peace talks due to start on January 22 under U.N. auspices in Geneva. The Vatican has a representative to U.N. organizations in Geneva, as it also has permanent observer status at the U.N.

"The delegation brought a message from President Assad for the Holy Father and illustrated the position of the Syrian government," a statement said. In addition, the Vatican said a delegation headed by Joseph Sweid, a Syrian minister of state, held talks in the Vatican with the pope's secretary of state, Archbishop Pietro Parolin and his foreign minister, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.

The civil war in Syria has pitted anti-government forces against Assad's military. The number of Syrian refugees fleeing into neighboring countries threatens to destabilize the region. More than 100,000 people have died as a result of the conflict as far away as March of 2011.

The Vatican is also seeking information on the fate of Father Paolo Dall'Oglio, a Jesuit priest who supported the rebels and disappeared in July in eastern Syria.

Pope Francis has made great efforts to make the war in Syria foremost in the world's collective consciousness.

He led a worldwide day of prayer for peace in the country last September and sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was hosting the G20 summit, telling world powers that any military solution in Syria would be a "futile pursuit."

The Russian president was opposed to U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to use air strikes to punish Assad for a chemical weapons attack which the West blamed on the Syrian government. Assad's government denied it was responsible and the air strikes never took place following Syria's agreement to dismantle it chemical weapons.



---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Middle East

Arab nations form powerful joint military force amid Yemen attacks Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In response to a growing conflict in Yemen, the Arab leaders from different countries have agreed to form a joint military force. This decision is mostly aimed toward fighting jihadists and Islamist extremism that has invaded Iraq and Syria and is making moves toward ... continue reading


TOP SECRET: The United States publishes sensitive, classified information on Israel's nuclear program Watch

Image of In 1987, Israel's nuclear program was described as being on the same level as the United States'

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Unites States has officially breached a silent agreement with Israel that had been in place for decades. The Department of Defense declassified a top-secret document that details Israel's nuclear program. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Israel never formally ... continue reading


As Houthis rebels advance on Aden, Yemeni president flees by boat Watch

Image of A Yemeni man says the child, pictured riding a horse, was killed in the Saudi air stirke in Sana'a this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes in Yemen are targeting military installations held by the Shia rebels. The militant factions swept into the country's south and drove Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee by sea. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hadi was ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen dangerously clashing with archrival Iran Watch

Image of The greatest concern is that the conflict could evolve into a proxy war between Yemen and its neighbor Saudi Arabia, the leading Sunni power, and Iran, the leading Shia power.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The momentous divide between Sunni and Shia Muslims in the Middle East has turned into open conflict in Yemen. There are widespread fears that this will draw other nations into a much wider war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A Sunni coalition of Arab states ... continue reading


DRIVING MILITANTS OUT: Houthi positions in Yemen targeted by Saudi Arabia Watch

Image of The air campaign began at 7 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday, according to Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Backed by other Gulf States and Egypt Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against Houthi militants in Yemen. The airstrikes were in response to the Yemeni president fleeing his palace ahead of advancing fighters. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Saudi Arabia builds megacity in middle of desert at cost of $100 billion Watch

Image of KAEC has its own website showing plans for the city, including details on how to invest in its growth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The King Abdullah Economic City, or KAEC -- pronounced "cake," is being constructed by Saudi Arabia. The planned megacity in the desert will be slightly larger than Washington D.C. and home to approximately two million residents. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


'Death to America' Iran's Supreme Leader declares on even on nuclear weapon agreement Watch

Image of When the crowd started shouting,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the United States works with Iran for a comprehensive nuclear weapons treat, Iran's Supreme leader Ali Khamenei called for "Death to America" this past weekend. It was contradictory news as it came shortly after President Barack Obama appealed to Iran to ... continue reading


The Obama administration steps on more toes: U.S. moves from Israeli-Palestinian peace talks toward United Nations forced two-state resolution in Middle East crisis Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The continuous efforts to get Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peaceful agreement on land has potentially reached its peak. The United States is edging closer to supporting the United Nations Security Council in forcing a final peace settlement, a lasting two-state ... continue reading


Netanyahu takes overwhelming victory despite left-wing busing Arabs to polls during Israeli election Watch

Image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a message posted on Facebook declared that left-wing non-governmental organizations, or NGOs and foreign governments attempted to influence the Israeli election. He says that these entities bussed Arabs to the polls.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a message posted on Facebook declared that left-wing non-governmental organizations, or NGOs and foreign governments were attempting to influence the upcoming Israeli election. He says that these entities intended to bus ... continue reading


'We will blacken your life and blow up your White House.' ISIS makes direct threats in new audio accepting Boko Haram's allegiance Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"We want, Allah willing, Paris before Rome and before Al-Andalus [Spain and Portugal], [and] after that we will blacken your life and blow up your White House, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower, Allah willing," Islamic State spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani warns in a ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 42:1-7
1 Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 27:1, 2, 3, 13-14
1 [Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, ... Read More

Gospel, John 12:1-11
1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Regulatus
March 30: Also Peter Regalado, Franciscan reformer. Peter was born at ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter