To all the religious communities, all the priests, all those who assist in Syria, risking their person, their generous service to the poor, to the suffering, the wounded, to those in need of help, we express our heartfelt spiritual closeness, our solidarity in prayer, and all our appreciation for the tireless witness of charity and fraternal concern in the midst of desolation and in such difficult circumstances.
We are aware that Syria and its people are living in this tragic hour the drama of the Cross that can find light only in the Cross and Passion of our Lord. Our voice is raised in intercession for the dead and in defense of the living, of those who continue to remain in their land and to those refugees who have lost everything and had to leave their country. The drama of one and the other is very great – as I could feel during my recent pastoral visit to Mafraq in northern Jordan – and cannot leave us indifferent. So long, too long this situation continues. Our greatest humiliation and suffering lies in feeling powerless and unable to intervene to immediately put an end to the violence and to further help the victims.
Our appeal for cessation of all violence, and to arm ourselves instead with mercy, mercy and compassion towards our suffering Syrian brethren, and to join with the Holy Father, Benedict XVI continuing to ask, along with him, the prayer for peace so that “in the various conflicts, the ignoble massacres of unarmed civilians cease, that all violence would end, and that we find the courage for dialogue and negotiation”.
I appeal to those who can intervene to finally facilitate a constructive dialogue, because surely there is a way out, if we have the courage and the will to undertake it for the sake of peace and not for other interests.
May the Most Holy Mary intercede with her Son for these intentions.
†Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch
In the name of AOCTS