Part of the Holy Father Pope Francis’ words to the ROACO (Reunion of Aid Agencies for The Oriental Churches) in which he expressed his gratitude for Eastern Catholics, who, through the years “faced every difficulty for the Christian name” and have “kept the faith”.
“I would like to renew once more, from the depths of my heart, an appeal to the leaders of nations and of international organisations, to believers of every religion, and to women and men of good will to put an end to all suffering, to all violence, to all religious, cultural and social discrimination. The confrontation that sows death should give place to the encounter and the reconciliation that brings life. To all those who suffer I say forcefully: never lose hope! The church is close to you, the church walks with you and sustains you! I call upon you to do everything possible to alleviate the grave necessities of the stricken populations, especially of Syria. The beloved Syrian people… the ever increasing number of refugees and displaced persons. Saint Ignatius of Antioch himself asked the Christians of Rome: “Remember in your prayers the Church in Syria….Jesus Christ Himself will look over it, and your charity.”(Letter to the Romans, IX,I). We too, you and I repeat, ” Remember in your prayers the Church in Syria…Jesus Christ Himself will look over it , and your charity.” I entrust the innumerable victims to the Lord of life, and I implore the Most Holy Mother of God that she might console the many people who are experiencing the great tribulation (Rev 7:14) And it is truly a great tribulation! Upon each of you, upon the Agencies, and upon all the Eastern Churches, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing. ” – Pope Francis