ASIA/SYRIA - The Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate remains in Damascus

Monday, 5 August 2013

Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - The See of the Patriarchate of Antioch of the Syriac Orthodox remains in Damascus, "and there is no intention to move it to another place". This hypothesis is rejected firmly by the Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas and by all the members of the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Thus, through a resolute statement issued on Sunday, August 4th by the secretariat of the Patriarchate, the allegations that spoke of a possible transfer of the patriarchal See in Turkey as an obliged result of the tragic situation of civil war that has been tearing apart Syria for 28 months are denied. In the statement sent to Fides Agency, it is confirmed that in the eyes of the bishops and of the Syriac Orthodox believers the transfer of the patriarchal See would mean the danger of "extinction" of the Syriac Orthodox Church and its spiritual heritage through a "fusion in melting pot of other communities and other nationalities". "We are interested in not only the survival of the See of Antioch in Syria", reports the statement, "but also the permanence of our people in every part of Syrian territory" together "with our Muslim brothers and other Christian communities". The statement also says that "Patriarch Mar Zakka I Iwas is in good health" and reject with disdain speculation circulated in recent days that crept possible intra-ecclesiastical rivalry among the causes of the kidnapping of the two Archbishops of Aleppo Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (Syriac Orthodox) and Boulos al-Yazigi (Greek-Orthodox), of whom there has been no news since April 22. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 05/08/2013).