Sunday, February 03, 2013

Archbishop of Aleppo: "We're used to the horror by now"

"The effect of the condition in which we have been living for more than a year is that we are now addicted to horror everyday."

This is how the Archbishop of Aleppo of the Armenian Catholics, Boutros Marayati, describes the devastating situation experienced by the inhabitants of the Syrian metropolis - where yesterday dozens of corpses of young victims were found - to Fides news agency. 

"There is always new news of massacres, there is the constant noise of bombing, one lives in a state of tension and fear day and night, there is a struggle to survive in a daily life in which there is not even water to drink and fuel to heat homes. As we are overwhelmed by all this," the Archbishop explained to Fides, "there is not almost time to become aware of the terrible things in which we are immersed. The massacre at the University a few days ago, where we lost poor Sister Rima, already seems a distant thing." 
 
“With the now familiar rebound of the charges, the government media have blamed the massacre to the jihadist brigades of Jabhat Al-Nusra, while groups of the Coalition of the Opposition spoke of "new terrible massacre perpetrated by the regime." 
 
“According to the Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, the impossibility of verifying the actual dynamics of bloody events makes the condition of the people in turmoil even more alienating: "We feel that there is a deformation of all the information. One cannot just trust what one hears, and there is no possibility to check even the events that occur a short distance from our neighbourhoods. Even now one can hear the noise of explosions, but we do not know where they come from, and against whom they are directed. We are in the middle of a war, but we live it as if we were in the dark, without really understanding what is happening. We wonder when and how all this will end. Let us pray to the Lord, so he can look upon us and protect us."
 
Meanwhile, the Greek-Catholic priest, Fr. Mtanios Haddad, has launched an appeal for peace in Syria ahead of the Divine Liturgy he will celebrate according to the Byzantine rite this Friday 1 February at 18:00 (CET), in the Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin, in Rome’s Piazza della Bocca della Verità. During the liturgy he will call for an end to violence in Syria and the Middle East in general. “A democratic opposition centred on dialogue and debate needs to be restored fast to ensure the rights of all Syrian citizens regardless of culture, ethnicity or religion.”
 
The liturgical celebration is being promoted by the Diocese of Rome and the Greek Catholic Melkite Church. It will be presided over by the Archimandrite Haddad, Patriarchal Apocrisary in Rome and Rector of Saint Mary in Cosmedin since 2006.

Fr. Haddad calls for an end to war and the atrocities that are tearing Syria apart. It is vital we lower our arms and take the path of reconciliation and dialogue as soon as possible, he added. But in order to achieve this, the taps of economic aid used to fund the war, need to be turned off immediately.  
 
The Melkite priest explained that what is harming the Syrian people are the arms and men, mostly from outside, because this conflict grew as a result of interests outside Syria and the intention is to encourage and prolong the country’s crisis – which is bringing nothing but death and destruction - as much as possible.

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