ASIA/SYRIA - The Armenian Catholic Bishop Marayati: the visit of the delegation of the Synod "reason to hope for Christians and for all the people of Syria"

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Aleppo (Agenzia Fides) - "The news that a delegation of the Synod of Bishops, being held in Rome, will be in Syria is a source of hope for Christians and for all the people of Syria. We all hope that the visit takes on the profile of a real peace mission, asking for reconciliation between the parties that fight. " So says to Fides Agency the Archbishop of Aleppo of the Armenian Catholics, Boutros Marayati. In the martyred city at the center of the bombings and clashes for months between government forces and militias of the insurgents, the possibility of being visited by a delegation of Cardinals and Bishops from Rome is in itself a powerful sign: "The announced visit makes one understand how much the Holy See and the Bishops in the whole world have the fate of all the peoples of the Middle East at heart. It would be nice if they came to Aleppo. We are waiting for them. If they came to visit we would be happy," said Monsignor Marayati.
According to the head of the Armenian Catholic community of Aleppo, the mission of Catholic Pastors in Syria can realistically open a window on an unprecedented solution to the Syrian conflict, precisely because of its profile sui generis: "So far - explains to Fides the Archbishop Marayati - there have been terrible losses for everyone. Death, destruction, displaced people, lives on the run. History teaches us that sometimes enemies can find common ground and eventually reconcile. Even in Europe people have made war, and now are friends and work together in peace. But this calls for an intermediary that can speak to the wounded heart of the people, not just using the language of political calculation. The delegation of the Synod can have this diplomatic function, in the human sense. Witnessing the passion for human dignity shared by Muslims, Jews and Christians, we can try to save men, women and children who are suffering here and are waiting for salvation, in a situation that seems hopeless."
About the reasons fueling the conflict, Boutros Marayati invites to be cautious about superficial and misleading interpretation: "the Bishops – he explains to Fides - are familiar with the situation. It is no longer just a matter of democratic reforms, requests or to be hostile. The situation is complicated. And among other things, what is worrying is the rise of religious fanaticism. When religion becomes violent and fought in the name of God, the agreement with the faithful of other religions is jeopardized, that we have shared for so long. Even for this reason I look forward to the arrival of Cardinals and bishops from Rome here in Syria: everything that moves in favor of the Syrian people, from whatever side it comes, will be blessed by the Lord." (GV) (Agenzia Fides 17/10/2012)