VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI has donated US$100,000 (S$125,000) to help the people of Syria.

The Vatican’s office for promoting and coordinating charity announced on March 31 that the pope made the donation to fund “the charitable work of the local Church in Syria supporting the population” that has been hit by ongoing violence in the country.

Msgr Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of the office, called Pontifical Council Cor Unum, was to personally deliver the aid on March 31 and meet with Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III Laham of Damascus, Syria, as well as other local Church leaders.

In predominantly Muslim Syria, the Catholic Church helps all people in need through its charitable organisations but is particularly active in the area of Homs and Aleppo, the council said in a press release.
The pope also earmarked the collection during his Holy Thursday evening Mass for humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees.

Syria’s government has been fighting an uprising inspired by pro-democracy movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. - CNS

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