Loading
Pope responds to bishops' kidnapping with 'intense prayer'
By David Uebbing

.- 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?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
17

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Gospel
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Homily
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: