Loading
Pope responds to bishops' kidnapping with 'intense prayer'
By David Uebbing
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Francis is responding to the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops in Syria with “intense prayer” for their health and release.

The Pope “was informed of this serious new act, which adds to the growing violence in recent days and a humanitarian emergency of vast proportions,” Vatican press office director Father Federico Lombardi said in an April 23 statement.

He is following the events “closely and with intense prayer for the health and the release of the two kidnapped bishops,” Fr. Lombardi reported.

Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Archbishop Paul Yagizi of the Greek Orthodox Church were kidnapped April 22 near Aleppo, Syria by armed men, who killed their driver.

The official Syrian news agency SANA reported late Monday that the archbishops were engaged in humanitarian work just over the border in Turkey and were returning to Aleppo when they were attacked.

The opposition rebels and the Syrian government have both traded blame over who carried out the kidnapping, so it remains unclear who is responsible.

Fr. Lombardi said that the assault on the archbishops “and the killing of their driver, while carrying out a humanitarian mission, is a dramatic confirmation of the tragic situation faced by the people of Syria and its Christian communities.”

Pope Francis, he said, is praying that, “with the commitment of all, the Syrian people will finally discover effective answers to the humanitarian tragedy and see on the horizon real hopes for peace and reconciliation.”

At an April 17 press event in Rome, Greek Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham, said that 2 million Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, over 1,000 Christians have been killed and 20 churches have been destroyed in Syria’s conflict.

Christians make up between five and 10 percent of Syria’s population, but large numbers of them have fled to neighboring countries like Lebanon and Jordan to escape the fighting.
 

Tags: Church in Middle East, Kidnapping, Pope Francis

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
21

Liturgical Calendar

October 21, 2014

Tuesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Gospel
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 2: 12-22
Gospel:: Lk 12: 35-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/21/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:35-38

Homily
Date
10/21/14
10/20/14
10/19/14