Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - A severe reminder to the international community so that it puts an end to the arms trade that fuels war and an appeal to the consciences of Christians, so they resist the idea of escaping from their land. These are the strong messages that the Catholic Bishops of Syria wanted to address to the world and to the faithful, in a statement issued at the end of their autumn Assembly. The meeting was held in Damascus on Tuesday 28 and Wednesday 29 October and was attended by the Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkite, Grégoire III, and 11 Catholic bishops of 6 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", says to Agenzia Fides Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite. "In the meeting - adds Bishop Abou Khazen - 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. Then we invite all not to run away, not to leave their land. As 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". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 30/10/2014)