Middle East Situation

In a few more days I'll be offline until the 3rd of October and so it's hard to know what to post on before I go- Uppermost in my thoughts is the situation in the Middle East and it's hard keeping up to speed with the news and digesting it, so I've just picked out a few recent articles that caught my eye which are not too lengthy.

Fr. Thomas Reese S.J has a balanced and well informed post here with inputs from a selection of moral theologians on whether military intervention is the right way to proceed.

Click here to read how the U.S. Strike In Syria Could Unleash More Turmoil, according to the UN Chief Ban Ki Moon

CNN correspondents and experts explain the different positions of some key nations involved in preparing for -- or warning against -- international military attacks on Syria in this fine and thankfully brief article - Click here.

PBS also have a brief video discussion below...

 Caritas Internationalis talked about the situation in Syria, and about the situation of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, in its annual report published last July.

 It also issued a statement last Friday calling for dialogue as the only possible solution to the Syrian crisis, and warning against military intervention.

It says that the ongoing civil war in Syria can only be resolved through inclusive peace talks. The alleged use of chemical weapons in Damascus has highlighted how catastrophic the humanitarian situation has become for millions of people in Syria. 

The use of chemical weapons is an horrific crime.Caritas condemns all attacks against civilians. The combatants have a duty under international law to protect civilian lives. 

Caritas says the international community has an obligation to find an end to the suffering of the Syrian people, and that can only be achieve through broad dialogue.

Caritas Internationalis Secretary general Michel Roy said, “The Syrian people don’t need more bloodshed, they need a quick end to it. They need an immediate truce. 

Scaling up military intervention by foreign powers will simply widen the war and increase the suffering.

“The last decade bears witness to the tragic consequences of military intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
“Caritas believes that the only humanitarian solution is a negotiated one. Dialogue can end the war in Syria, safeguard the lives of the people and build a viable future for everyone. 

The priority must be to reinvigorate talks in Geneva as the first step towards a ceasefire and a peace deal. A Syrian peace conference is planned to take place in Geneva this year. 
Caritas Syria and other Church partners continue to provide humanitarian assistance to people, without regard to their religious or political beliefs. Caritas says all sides must ensure that humanitarian staff can reach those in need.
 Patrick Nicholson, Head of Communications for Caritas Internationalis in Rome, spoke to Giulia Cirillo about the detrimental effects of life on the front line, and about Caritas’ efforts to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Listen to the full interview here by clicking on the links: RealAudioMP3

From here from the Vatican Radio website 

The UN refugee head Antonio Guterres tells Newsday's Shaimaa Khalil. But "there is no humanitarian solution to the problem, the solution is political", he says.

 Click here for Catholic World Report which has a letter from Cistercian nuns who moved their monastery to Azeir, in Northern Syria, back in 2005 and their message to President Obama is Send Us Your Prayers, Not Your Missiles.

The pope recommenced his early morning Masses for Vatican employees and guests yesterday after a two-month-long summer hiatus.

On Sep. 3rd he reflected on St. Paul's words to the Thessalonians when the apostle said, "For all of you are children of the light" and not children "of the night or of darkness."

While reflecting on the day's Gospel reading from St. Luke when Jesus commands a demon to leave a possessed man, the pope said, "Jesus doesn't need an army to chase away the demons, he doesn't need arrogance, force or pride."

 He rids the world of evil with his "humble, meek" and loving word.

Humility, meekness, love and the experience of the Cross are the means with which the Lord defeats evil. And the light that Jesus brought into the world dispels the blindness of human beings who are all too often dazzled by the false light of the world that is brighter but misleading. It is up to us to discern which light comes from God. This is the essence of the reflection given by Pope Francis this morning.  

Full text of the Pope's address can be read here.

With more than 2 million people fleeing the Syrian war, camps like ‪#‎Zaatari‬ in Jordan are struggling to cope. 

You can explore the camp with this BBC interactive guide.


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