VATICAN CITY, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Increasing violence in Syria has forced the Vatican to drop plans for a peace mission to the country, Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday.
Benedict, speaking as he ended his message to the faithful during his general audience, urged the Syrian government and rebels to come together to work for peace, Vatican Radio reported.
He said he will send Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the humanitarian Pontifical Council Cor Unum, to Lebanon for a few days this week to meet with refugees and Catholic relief agencies.
"As I make my prayer to God, I renew my invitation to the parties in conflict, and to all those who have the good of Syria at heart, to spare no effort in the search for peace and to pursue through dialogue the path to a just coexistence, in view of a suitable political solution of the conflict," the pope said.
"It is never too late to work for peace!"