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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 01/17/2013, 00.00

    VATICAN - SYRIA

    For Syriac Catholic patriarch of Antioch, US, EU and Gulf states stir hatred in Syria

    Simone Cantarini

    For Ignatius Joseph III Younan, a Christian presence in Syria is essential for confessional reconciliation between Alawis and Sunnis. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility for Aleppo university blast that killed 87. The violence of Muslim extremists and government forces could wipe out Syria forever. Patriarch calls on young Christians to stay in the Middle East to be witnesses of peace.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "The United States, the European Union and the Gulf states have a great responsibility in this war, which began as a peaceful Arab spring," said Mgr Ignatius Joseph III Younan, patriarch of Antioch of the Syriacs since 2009. "By backing the rebels, who are not united, they stirred hatred among the people. We Christians are disappointed by the behaviour of these countries; their money and oil bought the world's conscience, justifying violence." For the head of the Syriac Catholic Church, "the Christians left in Syria are the only ones who can bear witness through their lives and values to the possibility of reconciliation, now virtually excluded by both regime and rebels."

    For the patriarch, syria is very close to a point of no-return. As planes continue to strike, its very existence is at stake. "The situation is getting worse and more heartbreaking by the day. This is no longer an Arab spring; it is a sectarian conflict between the Alawi minority and the Sunni majority."

    In the areas controlled by the military, suicide attacks by al-Nusra militants continue. The terrorist organisation is linked to al-Qaeda, and is responsible for an attack at Aleppo University two days ago that left 87 people dead and hundreds wounded.

    Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Idleb, the main town in north-western Syria, killing 22.

    In and around Damascus, Syria's military has responded with an iron-fist, cracking down with everything it has, including cluster bombs, to regain control of the province.

    In Darayya,southwestern Syria, witnesses are reporting an unprecedented offensive by the army. Before the start of the civil war, the city had a population of 200,000. Now most residents have fled. Only a handful of residents remain, and they are in danger of dying from air strikes.

    Colonel Maher al-Assad, brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, "has given orders to take control of Darayya even if that should mean destroying whatever buildings remain in the town," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

    The army is moving ahead relentlessly in Homs, where it "carried out a new massacre on Tuesday claiming 106 victims, including women and children," the Britain-based watchdog said.

    In the past, the Church called on the regime to change from totalitarian to democracy. "I personally expressed this opinion on Syrian state television," the patriarch said. "There must be change, but not through violence; the impact of sectarian hatred will last for decades after the war is over."  For this reason, the right path is true reconciliation with members of the old regime.

    "There cannot be an agreement with preconditions," he explained. "Should the rebels take over, they'll demand Assad's head, the Alawi community will disappear and perhaps other minorities as well. There are also risks with the conditions imposed by the president who wants to throw out all the Sunnis from the country."

    "Given what happened in Iraq, and at the consequences of the Syrian war in Lebanon, we Christians in the Middle East are facing the greatest challenge of our history, that of remaining in our cities and convincing our youth not to flee. Our role is fundamental for the reconciliation between peoples divided by hatred. As the pope put it, we must pray and work for peace, dialogue, reconciliation and the defence of human rights present in Syria."

    Syriac Catholics are present across the Middle East. Most live in Iraq (42,000) and Syria (26,000), especially in Aleppo.

    Like other Middle Eastern Churches, the Syriac Catholic Church has suffered from emigration. According to some estimates, 55,000 Syriac Catholics have found refuge in Western countries.

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    See also

    23/04/2013 SYRIA
    Pope praying for the release of Mgrs Ibrahim and Boulos al-Yaziji
    Speaking to AsiaNews, Archbishop Jeanbart calls on the West to ends its "indifference". All Catholic bishops in Aleppo are "saddened and concerned" about the kidnapping of the two Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox prelates. Kidnappers are thought to be foreign fighters. Even the Orthodox Patriarchate in Moscow shares the pain of Syria's Churches.

    06/09/2013 SYRIA
    Maaloula: Christians flee village where people still speak the language of Jesus
    A village priest tells AsiaNews about the mayhem caused ​​by Islamists. Of the more than 3,000 residents, only a few hundred remain in the village. By destroying "the cross, they want to send a clear message: it is now the turn of the Christians. Now anything can happen

    19/06/2015 VATICAN
    For pope, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East strengthens bonds between the Catholic and Syro-Orthodox Churches
    This morning’s Vatican meeting between Francis and Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East focused on "The blood of the martyrs" as the "seed of unity of the Church". Bemoaning “So much suffering! So many innocent victims,” the pontiff added that “In the face of all this, it seems that the powers of this world are incapable of finding solutions.”

    12/12/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: close to the Catholics "of Iraq and Syria, who are living moments of great suffering and fear in the face of violence"
    Receiving in audience Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch and of the Syriac Catholic Church, Pope Francis speaks of the diaspora caused by the conflicts in the region. "This movement towards countries considered to be safer impoverishes the Christian presence in the Middle East", "Witnessing to the Gospel when in discussions, is sometimes not easy, with people of different religions and ethnicities and religions."

    22/02/2012 SYRIA
    Threatened by violence, Christians flee Syria, says Aleppo archbishop
    Mgr Audo urges Catholics to pray for peace and the reconciliation of the Syrian people. Caritas gives food and basic necessities to 500 Christian and Muslim families in Homs, the city most affected by the civil war. Two Western journalists are killed in Homs' Baba Amr district.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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