Pope Benedict XVI is sending a delegation, including top Vatican officials and New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, to Damascus to express solidarity with the Syrian people suffering in their country's civil war.
The group will consist of seven churchmen, including Dolan and the Holy See's top official for inter-religious dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.
Bertone said church leaders "cannot be simple spectators" given the "immense" suffering in Syria, and said they are convinced the solution must be a "political" one.
The delegation will express solidarity "to all the population" in the pope's name and offer encouragement to those seeking an accord respecting human rights.
Dolan is currently in Rome taking part in the synod, a meeting of bishops, according to church officials. He will fly back to attend the Al Smith Dinner in New York City Thursday night, and will return to Rome before flying to Syria.