From CNS, Staff and other sources

A papal delegation of bishops, including Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, will travel to the capital of war-torn Syria in late October. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, made this announcement on Oct. 16 at the Synod of Bishops in Rome. He said the delegation would be a display of solidarity and would encourage peace negotiations “in the certainty that the only possible solution to the crisis is a political solution and bearing in mind the immense suffering of the population.” The cardinal said that Pope Benedict XVI had instructed the Vatican delegation to express, on behalf of the pope and the synod: “our fraternal solidarity with the entire population,” “our spiritual closeness to our Christian brothers and sisters” and “our encouragement to all those involved in seeking an agreement that respects the rights and duties of all, with particular attention to the demands of humanitarian law.”