New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan shared that sometime this week, he and other members of a special papal delegation will be headed to war-torn Syria. Bill Carey of NY1's sister station YNN filed the following report in Vatican City.
The brutal war in Syria by conservative estimates, has already cost more than 30,000 lives. Now, in a rare show of activist foreign policy, Pope Benedict XVI has decided it is time to send a group of personal emissaries into the war torn country.
Among those in that group, New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was in the Vatican to celebrate the elevation of seven new saints, including two New Yorkers.
The cardinal said it is time for the church to act.
"We have the patriarchs of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East who are with us at the synod, and every time I meet one of them, they say, 'We feel so much by ourselves. We feel isolated. We feel all alone. Does anyone care?'" said Dolan.
Again and again, Dolan and others making the trip have heard how life-saving supplies are not getting through to the Syrian people.
"We're hoping, in some way, to make a plea to allow this aid to get to people who are suffering," Dolan said.
The cardinal is still unsure whether his delegation will ever meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during their visit, but he is hoping that they still send a message.
"Will we accomplish anything? Politically, maybe not. Spiritually, I think so," Dolan said. "Because everybody's going to know that the pope, who's the vicar of the prince of peace, Jesus Christ on Earth, is trying his best to show some solidarity."
So Dolan has joined a host of other world leaders ratcheting up the pressure on the Damascus government.