Catholic World News

Syrian Patriarch says US strike would be 'criminal'

August 28, 2013

Speaking from Damascus, the leader of the Melkite Catholic Church has told the AsiaNews service that an American-led assault on Syria would be “a criminal act, which will only reap more victims.”

Patriarch Gregory III Laham said that the US and other Western nations have done nothing to stop an influx of “Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill.” Today the country desperately needs stability, he said, and “an armed attack against the government really has no sense at all.”

The Melkite Patriarch strongly supported the call by Pope Francis for peaceful dialogue and an end to the civil war in Syria. He said that he had sent the Pope’s plea for peace to all the Melkite parishes in Syria.

Patriarch Gregory voiced his concern that if Islamic militants come to power, Syria’s Christians will be under heavier pressure to leave the country. Without a Christian presence to ease conflicts between Muslims, he added, there would be no realistic hope for democracy in Syria.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 29, 2013 2:18 AM ET USA

    In Iraq II, there were no weapons of mass destruction, despite CIA "intelligence." In, what may turn out to be Syria I, there is enough doubt that suggests that the rebels might be the ones to have used nerve gas (and we know how these Islamic terrorists, er, freedom fighters wouldn't do that - if you do, I have a bridge in Brooklyn...). These are the same people who the CIA has been training for months in air defense weapons, etc. The common thread? CIA of Bay of Pigs and Air America fame.

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Aug. 29, 2013 12:44 AM ET USA

    Just tonight I heard Sean Hannity say that Iraq was better off without Saddam Husseiin. Still in denial, Sean is ignoring what has happened to the Christians there. When the people of this nation are so thick headed that they cannot even learn from recent history, we are doomed.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Aug. 28, 2013 7:53 PM ET USA

    As a president once famously said of his desk in the Oval Office, "the buck stops here." The notion that Barack Obama would bend to "Neoconservative" pressure is absurd; this war, if it comes, will be his and his alone. One could argue that Neocons applauded G W Bush during the massive blunder of the war on Iraq, as I certainly do, but they are sidelined today. An attack on Syria will only demonstrate again that there is absolutely no serious difference between America's warmongers left or right

  • Posted by: djpeterson - Aug. 28, 2013 11:42 AM ET USA

    The pressure to get U.S. involved in the Syrian war is spearheaded by the Neoconservatives and outlets like the Weekly Standard. A commentary on their sordid role would be very timely, including the tendency of certain Catholics to get drawn in.