24 August 2018
World Meeting of Families

Card. Zenari (Nuncio), “The family is wounded or destroyed” in Syria

“The family of Nazareth persecuted and refugeed in Egypt is the icon of so many Syrian families. Nearly half of the population has been forced to leave their homes, their villages and neighborhoods: 6.1 million internally displaced persons (some several times) and 5.6 million refugees in neighboring countries. The Syrian refugees make up one-fourth of all the refugees in the world, with impressive mass exoduses, such as the one from the east side of Aleppo in December 2016, with about 200,000 displaced people in the snow; from the Eastern Ghouta last April with 158,000 refugees. This is an unstoppable flood of human suffering.” Card. Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, said this in a long intervention that followed the projection of some pictures of the country at the World Meeting of Families being held in Dublin. “In many cases, in Syria, the family is wounded or destroyed. The Church, a family of families (AL 87), maternally embraces within Herself both families who are true icons of trinitarian love (AL 86) and broken, disintegrated families, welcoming, with maternal tenderness, those who have no family. She Herself is, as Pope Francis observes, a field hospital (AL 29); and never as in Syria,” he continued, “has the Church been called to be a ‘field hospital,’ together with other benevolent humanitarian organizations, through the exercise of works of physical and spiritual mercy of all kinds: good Samaritans, Veronica and Cyrene, of any faith, or simply moved by deep feelings of human compassion.” “How many families, how many women, how many children deserve recognition and an international award too! Yet, they are too many!” said Zenari, “they are unknown people, too poor, unable to speak, inappropriately dressed, without an identity card or passport; none of these people will be invited to give a lecture. Even the meshes of the humanitarian corridor network are always too large for them: they are excessively small fish, destined to remain at the bottom of the sea, with their feet in the mud during the winter, or on the hot sand during the summer.”