Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, is expected to arrive in Aleppo in the early afternoon today, Thursday, January 19, for a visit full of commitments and meetings that will continue until next Monday. The papal representative will also be accompanied by Mgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, until last 31 December Secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. "What begins today - refers to Agenzia Fides Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin Rite - is Nuncio Zenari’s first visit since the whole city has returned to government control, and is also the first time as Cardinal. We are all happy. Here people, even non-Christians, do not get tired of thanking Pope Francis for everything he does and says for Syria, and will certainly take advantage of the occasion to express their gratitude to the Pope’s representative".
The program of Cardinal Zenari’s day in Aleppo is intense: "The Cardinal and Papal Nuncio" reports to Fides Bishop Georges "will meet with the Bishops, priests, Catholic religious men and women. Then will visit the three Christian hospitals. There are two visits to refugee camps where there are Caritas and the Jesuit Refugee Service, and where Cardinal Zenari will also meet with families displaced from the eastern neighborhoods that remain in rebel hands. The Pope's Representative will also visit the devastated churches, have meetings with civil and religious authorities, and on Saturday 21 will participate in the ecumenical vigil with Bishops, priests and faithful of all the Churches, gathered on the occasion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We will also pray together for the rebirth of Aleppo". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 19/01/2017)