GERMANY: BISHOPS ON SYRIA, "NO MORE WEAPONS, WELCOME THE DISPLACED"

The plenary of the German bishops that is taking place in Fulda provides an opportunity to discuss again the issues of Syria and refugees. "I believe it necessary to reconsider these issues carefully in order to give European politics a new impetus" so as to "support the region and harmonize the reception of refugees in Europe", said Mgr. Norbert Trelle, president of the Immigration Commission, reminding his audience of the importance of the issue. Mgr. Trelle acknowledged Germany’s financial contribution to supporting displaced persons locally and the efforts of the federal government and Länder to welcome refugees to Germany. However, "not only the States of the region but also the whole international community have an obligation to provide concrete assistance until the armed conflict is over". Therefore the bishop invited everyone to welcome a larger number of displaced persons. On his turn, Mgr. Stephan Ackermann, bishop of Trier and president of the Iustitia et Pax Commission, called it a "shame" that the international community has not yet been able to prevent war and bloodshed in Syria. The bishop reaffirmed the stance of the German bishops who are against a military intervention in Syria and said that "the deployment of German soldiers to monitor chemical stockpiles should not be a taboo if there is a UN mandate".

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