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Syriac Catholic patriarch decries actions of Western leaders, European prelates

July 28, 2016

The head of the Syriac Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, said that the Iraqi members of his flock who fled the advance of ISIS two years ago “have no hope of returning home, either to Mosul or to the nearby Plain of Nineveh.”

“The Western powers, like the United States and the European Union, have their own geopolitical agenda,” Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan said in an interview with Crux.

Referring to efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the patriarch added that “what was done to Syria was clearly unjust, a kind of Machiavellian politics exercised against Syria and the Syrian people.”

Patriarch Yonan also criticized European bishops who have rebuffed his attempts to send Syriac priests to minister to refugees, as well as those who have forbidden him to celebrate the liturgy in Catholic churches.

“When I was in Sweden a couple of weeks ago, I had to use Syriac Orthodox churches for the Divine Masses I celebrated, although I am a Catholic patriarch,” he said. “I don’t know what kind of theology and canon law they study in the seminary, refusing for a patriarch to celebrate the Mass in the parish church. I was in Berlin two weeks ago and the thing is, I celebrated in a Syriac Orthodox church.”

 
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