A striking appeal coming from Syria and signed by Bishops of Aleppo. Between 10 and 12 April, violent shelling hit the Christian quarter of this Northern town of Syria, right on Orthodox Easter Day. Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III of Antioch denounced with force these shellings, with appeals to the international community.
Below is the full text of Aleppo Bishops Communiqué:
Would it be the Resurrection of the Lord or the burial of his disciples? In the midst of the Holy Week and of Easter, our town as well as our parishioners were overwhelmed with pain, grief and distress during the night when our quarters were hit by missile-projected shells. We have never seen or heard such destructions ever before! We went there and witnessed, we have wept: bodies were retrieved from beneath rubbles, slashes sticking on the walls, blood soaking the soil of the fatherland! Dozens of martyrs of all religions and doctrines injured, women, children and elderly people. We have heard moaning and lamentations of widows and of children, seen panic on the faces of people. From the depths of our sorrow, we exhort the people of conscience, provided there are still some, to listen to us:
Enough desolation and destruction! Enough to be a lab of weapons of destructive wars! We are weary!
Lock the door of armaments and ammunition, stop supplying tools of killing! We are weary!
What do you expect from us? Tell us? We are weary!
Would you want that we remain: injured and humiliated, the likes of human beings? Or shall we leave by force or else be annihilated?
As for us, we want to live in peace, like good citizens with other citizens of this country. We do not fear martyrdom, but we refuse to die for a suspicious and sorrowful price.
We refuse to be “Aleppo of Martyrs” but we want to stay in “Aleppo the Gem”, witnesses of love, peace, pardon and dialogue. Aleppo, gem of our country’s crown, and of all categories of the cultural and religious diversity.
Have pity on our martyrs; recovery for our sick patients; tranquility in the hearts of our children; security and peace for all our citizens.
Aleppo, 13 April 2015
Source: Radio Vatican