ASIA/SYRIA - Syrian Catholic bishops gather in Lebanon

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Raboueh (Agenzia Fides) - On Wednesday, March 12th the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Syria will meet in Raboueh, Lebanon, at the seat of the Greek-Melkite Patriarchate. This is confirmed to Fides Agency by the Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo Boutros Marayati. The bishops’ meeting, under the presidency of Greek-Melkite Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, will be dedicated in particular to the initiatives undertaken by Caritas to meet the many tragedies and sufferings that afflict the Syrian population in the Country ravaged by armed conflict. The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo Antoine Audo, president of Caritas Syria, will provide an overview of the ongoing interventions. "In the Assembly" explains to Fides Archbishop Marayati "all the bishops of the Catholic Churches of different ritual rooted in Syria are summoned. On paper we should be twenty, but we do not know yet how many will be able to get out of Syria to be present in Raboueh". The meeting takes place three days after the release of the Greek-Orthodox nuns of Maalula that sparked joy in all the Christian communities in the Middle East . "Now", said Archbishop Marayati "it is to be hoped that the channels used for the liberation of the nuns of Maalula also work to address and resolve the cases of bishops, priests and religious abducted in Syria during the conflict". In the negotiations to release the nuns, the Lebanese security services played a prominent role. In addition to the Metropolitan bishops of Aleppo Boulos al-Yazigi (Greek-Orthodox) and Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (Syrian Orthodox), among the kidnapped in Syria there is also the Jesuit Paolo Dall'Oglio, the Armenian Catholic priest Michel Kayyal, and the Greek Orthodox priest Maher Mahfouz. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 11/03/2014)