Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM
Syrian Bishops: ‘If the world wants to help us, stop sending weapons’ | Catholic Bishops of Syria, arms trade,Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkite, Grégoire III, Apostolic Nuncio Mario Zenari, Mgr Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso,
The Catholic Bishops of Syria issued a severe reminder to the international community this week, calling it to end the arms trade fuelling the war that is destroying their country and forcing thousands of Christians to flee.
The statement was issued at the end of their autumn Assembly held in Damascus on Tuesday and Wednesday (28-29 October). It was attended by the Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkite, Grégoire III, and 11 Catholic bishops of six different rites, along with the Apostolic Nuncio Mario Zenari and Mgr Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, Secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.
“The presence of Mgr Dal Toso gave us comfort”, said Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite.”
He said: “In the meeting, each participant highlighted the situation and problems of their own diocese. For all, the most important thing to do is stay close to our faithful, encourage them, console them. We walk in the dark we do not see a way out, and only Christ can provide hope in their hearts.
“The powers of the world must know that it certainly does not help peace if they continue to send weapons here. We encourage people not to run away, not to leave their land. But ss Pastors we see exactly how our poor people are suffering. And you cannot force anyone to stay in this situation where there is no work, misery increases every day and even one’s own life and that of their loved ones is always in danger”.