Catholic World News

Patriarch calls on Pope Francis to condemn West’s Syria policy

May 13, 2016

The head of the Syriac Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, praised Russia’s intervention in Syria and said that the United States and other Western nations are complicit in genocide because of their desire to “export democracy” and their support for some Syrian rebel groups.

“The Russians have been much more serious about helping Syria, which has been divided and battered for so long,” Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan told Aleteia. “What Russia did only in the month of September is worth much more that everything the West has done in the last two years.”

“The West is fueling the catastrophic tragedies we see unfolding before our eyes,” he added. “We have said many times that inciting violence in Syria would only lead to chaos; and chaos leads to civil war, or vice versa. Yet chaos is also the greatest enemy of minorities, especially the Christian minority both in Syria and in Iraq.”

He continued:

We consider to be accomplices all those who incited these terrorist bands and so-called rebels for, according to the criminal law, one who incites a murder must also be accused of being a criminal himself, and the one who knows and remains indifferent should also suffer punishment …

If your dear readers in the West consider that the countries where they live are democratic countries, then they have to raise their voices and tell their governments: You are participating in a genocide of minorities, especially the Christian minority. Because genocide doesn’t only mean killing all the members of a community, but also forcing them to flee their country to all parts of the world, uprooting them from the homeland of their ancestors, and destroying a culture and society and religious tradition …

The Pope needs to say clearly that the policies adopted by Western politicians are absolutely unjust and goes against charity and justice. They could have gradually reformed the systems of government. You can’t export so-called Western democracy to countries where there is still an amalgam of religion and State.


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  • Posted by: R. Spanier (Catholic Canadian) - May. 13, 2016 12:54 PM ET USA

    Iraq's Patriarch Raphael Louis Sako made similar comments about America's 2003 invasion of Iraq: "The [US] government made a mistake. They had no vision really, because where’s democracy in Iraq? Where is freedom, and human rights? The United States has a moral responsibility, because they destroyed the country. To leave the country in a critical, chaotic situation, this is not moral... ISIS... have money, sophisticated weapons, and more militants. Where are they coming from?" (see

  • Posted by: garedawg - May. 13, 2016 9:43 AM ET USA

    Let the Russians deal with it! They are closer to the action, and I'd rather see their people die in action than my fellow Americans, including the three boys I have of military age.