ASIA/SYRIA – The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo: “The Pope’s words are a help to seek ways of peace”

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) – “Urgency for us is national reconciliation. The situation is serious, it is necessary to re-establish dialogue. Syria has always been an example of conviviality and today must find its peaceful face of Arab, Christian and Muslim land”: is what His Exc. Mgr. Antoine Audo SJ, Chaldean Catholic Bishop of Aleppo tells Fides, commenting on Pope Benedict XVI’s appeal for peace in Syria, launched on the occasion of the R.O.A.C.O. (Assembly of the Reunion Of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches), which includes Catholic humanitarian agencies working to support the Eastern Churches.
The Jesuit Bishop tells Fides: “The Pope’s appeal is very interesting and moving. As Syrian Christians, we are deeply affected. His words reflect a deep desire for peace. The Pope used the verb ‘persevere’: for us it means not to be afraid of difficulties and to try with determination ways of peace. It is great encouragement. We demand an end to violence and we pray for peace. We trust in the help of the Holy See so that at an international level we can promote peace in Syria.” With regards to the Christians in Syria, the Bishop points out that “our presence as the Church of Arabic language and Eastern culture, able to coexist with Islam, is very important for the Middle East and for the universal Church.” (PA) (Agenzia Fides 22/6/2012)