Homs – On Tuesday, March 17 the Catholic Bishops of Syria met in Homs, on the occasion of the assembly that sees them together twice a year in order to reflect together on the pastoral and charitable service carried out by the individual dioceses and eparchies. The meeting, in addition to Greek-Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III, was also attended by Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III and fourteen Bishops from different Catholic Churches sui iuris, and also by Apostolic Nuncio His Exc. Mgr. Mario Zenari. On this occasion, the closeness of the Pope and the Church of Rome was also highlighted by the presence of Archbishop Cyril Vasil', SJ, Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and Mgr. Massimo Cappabianca OP.
The speeches made by the Bishops present revealed the suffering and wounds that mark the ordinary life of all Syrian Catholic communities, but they also gave witness of the miracle of love found in dioceses and parishes, to the benefit of all Syrian people. "The Church of Syria – says to Agenzia Fides Patriarch Gregoire III – is truly glorious: despite so much pain and suffering, thanks to the support of our brothers and sisters around the world, we have been able to directly assist more than 300 thousand Syrians, mostly through Caritas, supporting emergency projects for at least $ 5 million". During the meeting, Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo SJ of Aleppo was chosen as head of Caritas Syria, and all had words of appreciation for the dedication and effectiveness of how he has so far carried out his job to cope with humanitarian emergencies that make millions of Syrians suffer.
The decision to hold the Catholic Bishops meeting in Homs has taken an evedent symbolic value: "Aleppo has been under siege for years – said Patriarch Gregoire III – but Homs is perhaps the most battered city. For this reason the leaders of the Christian Churches of Syria have visited it many times. We want to express particular care for the wounded people and accompany their desire to start over again. We are saddened to see such pain – said the Patriarch – and we see that many go away. But we are also proud of our priests, religious men and women, who have all decided to stay, to walk together with the people even in this difficult time".
By: Agenzia Fides