» 01/16/2014, 00.00
Appeal by Gregory III for a global campaign of prayer for peace in Syria
On the eve of the Geneva II Conference, the patriarch calls for "true reconciliation among Syrians, not just on security agreements and humanitarian aid," however necessary they may be. Meanwhile, the World Council of Churches launches its own initiative.
(AsiaNews) - Gregory III Laham, Catholic patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
of Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkites, has called on the faithful to pray
for the success of the Geneva II Conference on peace in Syria, set to start in
Montreux, Switzerland, on 22 January.
In his appeal, the
patriarch urged everyone to set aside a daily moment of prayer in churches,
homes, and pastoral gatherings.
"Let us je
join our voice to that of Pope Francis who, when
he met the diplomatic corps on the 13th of this month, expressed hope
that Geneva II would mark the beginning of the desired journey of peace."
appeal be the start of a worldwide campaign of prayer for peace in Syria, the
Holy Land, the Arab world and the whole world."
In a document annexed
to the appeal, Gregory III made the following considerations.
"Let us pray for
true reconciliation in Geneva II, among Syrians and not just on security
arrangements and humanitarian aid. Certainly, we greatly need this, but the key
to the success of Geneva II is faith-based, human, cordial, national, and truly
Syrian reconciliation. As we thank the countries working for peace in Syria, we
want their efforts to be so focused that peace be a Syrian peace."
in the positions of the United States, Russia, the European Union - in
particular of France, Britain, Germany, China, and Iran - will guarantee the
success of Geneva II," the patriarch said. "It is also the indispensable
condition for achieving Arab unity for which we pray."
"This dual unity
- that of the West and that of the Arab world - will guarantee the success of
Geneva II. It is the real means by which we can stop the flow of arms to
foreign groups in Syria and the arms race in the region."
III announced that, along with representatives of the different Churches of the
world, he would be attending a meeting (15-17 January) in Geneva organised by
the World Council of Churches.
The role of the
Church at this historic moment, not only in Syria but also in the entire Middle
East and the world, will be the focus of the meeting's debates and discussions.
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