PMS launch special collection for devastated Turkey and Syria

Following Pope Francis’ appeal, the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) are mobilizing their networks of missionary priests, religious sisters, laymen and women and launching a special collection to aid survivors of the 7 February earthquake in Turkey and North-West Syria.

By Vatican News staff reporter

As the death toll from last week’s devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria continues to inexorably to rise, the national Directorates of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), have launched a special collection to provide immediate relief to  survivors, responding to  Pope Francis’s call  for solidarity  with the people of the two neighbouring countries.

The Catholic missionary organizations, also known as Missio, include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, the Holy Childhood Association and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.

According to Fides agency, the proceeds of the collection carried out by the national PMSs will be managed through Archbishop Emilio Nappa, President of PMS, in coordination with of the PMS Directorates of Turkey and Syria who know the most urgent needs on the ground.

Call for generous donations 

“My message would be a call to prayer and generosity in the following times Franciscan Father Adrian E. Loza, OFM, National Director of Pontifical Mission Societies  said in statement published by the  National Directorate of PMS-Australia. “After the first moments will have passed the second and third stage will start. Mourning and rebuilding. We will have to rebuild and repair many buildings and churches and help people to move forward.”

PMS-Australia is among the first national Directorates  to have launched emergency earthquake appeals for Turkey and Syria, along with Switzerland, France, Spain, Malta and the  United States.

Situation in Aleppo catastrophic

"The situation in Aleppo today is catastrophic, we are surrounded by chaos and desolation",  said Bishop  Mounir Saccal, national director of PMS in Syria and  Vicar General of the Syro-Catholic Church in Aleppo.  “Today we bury our dead, and we understand the extent of this disaster, realizing that we are unable to meet the economic needs to repair the damage on our own”, the Bishop told PMS Spain.

“Help us so that our Christian faithful who have remained continue to stay here, to preserve ‘the cradle’ of Christianity,  and pray,  that we have the strength to give comfort to our people, so that they can find faith and hope for better days.", he appealed

Over 40,000 victims

According to the latest estimates, so far over 40,000 people have been killed by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake, tens of thousands injured and millions left homeless and struggling to survive, especially in war-torn Syria, where international aid has been slow to arrive due to sanctions and the ongoing conflict in the country.  The area affected by the disaster in Turkey is home to nearly 14 million people, including some 2 million refugees, mainly from Syria.

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13 February 2023, 17:21