(Terrasanta) “The Vatican means business, it’s not just rhetoric or platitudes,” said one diplomat in an article written by Edward Pentin from our partners at Terrasanta.net. After gathering Vatican diplomats together in Rome regarding the Holy Father’s desire for a vigil for peace in Syria, the diplomats were surprised to receive a three page “non paper” meant to unofficially instruct on the Vatican’s position.
The document, entitled “Regarding the Situation in Syria” focuses on general principles but six in particular. To summarize it best, these are the six points is basic form:
1) Re-launch dialogue and reconciliation
2) Avoid division of the country into different zones
3) Maintain territorial integrity
4) Stress all minorities must be involved in preparing any new constitution and laws
5) Propose the establishment of a ministry dedicated to minorities, insists on the concept of citizenship with equal dignity, and emphasizes the importance of respecting human rights and religious freedom
6) Ensure “all necessary cooperation and assistance for the immense task of reconstruction in the country.”
Pentin also wrote that the Holy See asks that there be a “place for everyone” in a new Syria, in particular for minorities such as Christians. The document says Alawites (President Bashar al-Assad’s ruling sect) must also have guarantees or they may emigrate or risk their own lives by remaining in the country. “Such a risk would make it more difficult to reach a compromise with them,” the Holy See said.
Importantly, the “non paper” also stresses the importance of asking “members of the opposition to distance themselves from extremists groups, isolate them and reject terrorism openly and clearly.”