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    » 04/04/2005, 00.00

    SYRIA - VATICAN

    Assad will attend Pope's funeral

    Jihad Issa

    People wave photos of the Pope, whilst national media remembers his moral stature and historic 2001 visit.

    Damascus (AsiaNews) – An official Syrian government statement released today said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will attend Pope John Paul II's funeral, which is scheduled for Thursday. He will head an official delegation whose members have not yet been named.

    Sorrow for the loss of John Paul II is palpable everywhere: in Catholic churches crowded with the faithful saying prayers for the soul of the Pontiff, but also in the streets plastered with photos of the Pope, especially the one that shows John Paul II planting a tree in the Golan and another in which he is kissing the Qu'ran in his visit to a mosque in Damascus in 2001.

    Like the streets, the Pontiff is all over the front-pages of newspapers: Teschrine, a Damascus daily, carried a photo on its front-page of John Paul II in the Golan valley whilst an editorial focused on the Pontiff's strong religious charisma and his constant efforts in favour of world peace; Al-Sawrat led today's edition with the Pope's historic 2001 visit and its most significant moment, his visit to al-Qunaytirah, a city in the Golan destroyed in 1967 War with Israel.

    Syrian media have also generally emphasised the role played by the Holy See in the Arab world and its efforts in favour of inter-faith dialogue and bridging the gap between Islam and Christianity.

    Pope John Paul II's condemnations of the two Iraq wars and his repeated appeals for peace were given wide coverage.

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    See also

    04/04/2005 SYRIA – TRIPS IN ASIA – AN OVERVIEW
    First Pope to visit mosque in 2001


    03/04/2005 LEBANON - VATICAN
    The Pope: Lebanon mourns the loss of a steadfast defender of the land of the cedars
    The Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Sfeir, calls John Paul II a unique figure who shall remain in the history of the world. As sign of respect local TV and radio stations are playing only classical music

    13/04/2005 VATICAN
    Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral
    Pilgrims continue to arrive to visit John Paul II's final resting place.

    08/04/2005 vatican
    Card. Ratzinger: The love of Christ, the dominant force of our beloved Holy Father
    Here follows the text of the homily that card. Ratzinger gave at the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

    08/04/2005 VATICAN
    A million people attend John Paul II's funeral




    Editor's choices

    ASIA – WYD
    Card Gracias: young Asians bring Asian values to World Youth Day in Krakow

    Nirmala Carvalho

    "Our Asian pilgrims not only bring the grandeur, the vitality and beauty of Asia, but also the multi-cultural diversity, pluralism as well as Asian values of hospitality and family and, of course, the Church of the young.” Asia youth come to discover Krakow and the charisma of John Paul II, founder of the WYD.


    SYRIA
    Horror in Aleppo: "moderate" rebel group beheads Palestinian child



    The Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheads 11-year old Abdallah Issa shouting "Allah Akbar". The child was executed for collaborating with government forces. Before he died he was tortured. The group’s leaders try to back away from the barbaric killing. The group is supported by Turkey, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.


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