The Greek Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, His Beatitude Gregory III has strongly rejected military intervention as a solution to the crisis in the region. He called for foreign agencies to stop supplying weapons that are fueling the conflict, and appealed for prayers.
The Patriarch said: “One is inconsiderate to invoke external military interventions to defend Christians in Syria and the Middle East. We are a sovereign country with a legitimate government, which is responsible for protecting its citizens. If one really wants to put an end to the tragedy of the Syrian people, there is only one way: stop wars, weapons, money and stratagems used to attack Syria.”
On Monday, the Primate of the Eastern Catholic Church presided a Vigil prayer for peace in the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, in Damascus, which was attended by representatives and delegations of all the Catholic and Orthodox communities.
“We shared songs and prayers of penitence and peace, showing all, even in this way, that Christians are the true promoters of peace in Syria”, he said.
“On September 7, 2013, Pope Francis called the world to the great prayer for peace. In past days, while we were praying, there was news that Western countries will re-open talks with Assad.
“The groups that terrorize our people would not have had so much strength without the aid and weapons they received from other nations and groups of power.
“This is why I appeal to Pope Francis and all the Churches and Christian communities, so that the two billion Christians around the world promote a concrete and realistic road map to ask all the forces to put aside their own calculations of power and all the causes that fuel the war. Only then the suffering of our people will have an end”.