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Clergy Warns against Intervention in Syria

Added by Holger Bergner on August 30, 2013. · No Comments · Share this Post

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Syrian and Coptic Orthodox celebrate the feast of the Epiphany at the baptismal site known as Qasr el-Yahud on the banks of the Jordan River near the West Bank city of Jericho January 19, 2011. Orthodox Christians flocked to the Jordan River to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany at the traditional site where it is believed John the Baptist baptised Jesus Christ.

Syrian and Coptic Orthodox celebrate the feast of the Epiphany at the baptismal site known as Qasr el-Yahud on the banks of the Jordan River near the West Bank city of Jericho January 19, 2011. Orthodox Christians flocked to the Jordan River to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany at the traditional site where it is believed John the Baptist baptised Jesus Christ.

Chaldean Patriarch Sako: Intervention against Syria would be “a disaster”
By Agenzia Fides, August 28, 2013

Baghdad – The US-led military intervention against Syria would be “a disaster. It would be like a volcano erupting with an explosion meant to destroy Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine. And maybe someone wants this”.

This is what the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I Sako expressed to Fides Agency with regards to his concern over the prospect of an outside attack, which seems to be imminent, against the regime of Assad.

At the head of the most significant Christian community in Iraq, the Western intervention in Syria fatally recalls the experience lived by its people: “After 10 years of the so-called ‘coalition of the willing’, that overthrew Saddam” notes to Fides His Beatitude Sako “our Country is still battered by bombs, security problems, by the instability of the economic crisis”.

In addition, in the Syrian case, according to the Chaldean Patriarch things are even more complicated by the difficulty of grasping the real dynamics of the civil war which has been tearing apart that nation for years: “The opposition to Assad”, notes Sako “is divided, the various groups fight each other, there is a proliferation of jiahdist militias … What will happen to that Country, afterwards?”.

For the Patriarch, the formulas used by Western Countries to justify any intervention appear instrumental and confused: “Everyone is talking about democracy and freedom, but to reach those goals one must pass through historical processes and one cannot think of imposing them in a mechanical way or with force. The only way, in Syria, as elsewhere, is the search for political solutions. To push fighters to negotiate, to imagine a provisional government that involves both those of the regime and the opposition forces. Listening to what the Syrian people really want in their majority”.

The Chaldean Patriarch is also cautious on the choice of justifying the intervention as an inevitable retaliation before the use of chemical weapons by the army of Assad: “Westerners” says His Beatitude Sako “have also justified the intervention against Saddam with the accusation that the Iraqi Rais had weapons of mass destruction. But those weapons have not been found”.

(GV) (Agenzia Fides 28/08/2013).

Appeal from Deir Mar Musa: “No to military intervention and all forms of violence”
By Agenzia Fides, August 28, 2013

Damascus – While a military attack of Western armed forces in Syria seems imminent, “an appeal for peace and the rejection of all forms of violence” rises from the monastery of Deir Mar Musa (The Monastery of Saint Moses the Ethiopian ), an oasis of prayer, in the north of Damascus, re-founded by Jesuit Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, kidnapped a month ago in the area of Raqqa.

The monks and nuns of the community residing in the monastery, committed to the work of dialogue and spiritual reconciliation between Islam and Christianity, have just experienced a “special day of prayer and fasting”, August 27, for the release of Fr. Paolo and for peace in Syria. Fr. Jacques Mourad, head of the community, told Fides: “We have lived this day with joy and spiritual serenity. We prayed, and put our lives in God’s hands and we say to him: Thy will be done”.

With regards to the imminent military action of Western countries in Siria, Fr. Mourad says: “We are in a phase of extreme suffering. We hope that Western countries assume a right position before this tremendous crisis in Syria. The ‘right’ position is to reject all forms of violence, stop the weapons, not to put one against the other, defending and protecting human rights”.

Sister Houda Fadoul, head of the women’s community in Dei Mar Musa, confirms to Fides: “We cannot accept or appreciate an armed intervention of foreign powers. We continue in our mission which is to raise to God spiritual worship, especially to educate young people to dialogue and peace. We believe that today, even in this bitter conflict, prayer is a powerful means to resist evil and is the only tool that nourishes hope”.

(PA) (Agenzia Fides 28/08/2013)

The prayers of Aleppo so that the international military intervention is avoided
By Agenzia Fides, August 29, 2013

Aleppo – “Here people live in uncertainty and are suffering, but no one expects the release from bombs and missiles of an outside military intervention. Even for me it would be madness to carry out acts of war by raising the banner of peace. Everybody prays so that there is no intervention, and hopes in the return of peace”.

This is how pastor David Fernandez, a Catholic missionary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, describes to Fides Agency the reaction of the faithful of Aleppo with regards to the rumors about an imminent attack against army positions of Assad by foreign forces.

Fr. David says that Aleppo is again described as a city under siege of the rebel militias, where “bakeries are closed because there is no flour to make bread” while one cannot sleep day or night because of the roar of clashes and bombings taking place in the outlying suburbs. In all of this – adds Fr. David -”many people carry their cross with faith and courage, asking God for the gift of peace, the only one to whom they still entrust their hopes”.

In August, in the besieged Aleppo, at the Catholic parish of the Latin rite spiritual retreats for young people, for nuns and mothers were preached, now the special retreats are for priests of different rites.

(GV) (Agenzia Fides 29/08/2013 ).

Photo credit: Beautiful Faces of Palestine via Photopin, CC

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