Damascus (Agenzia Fides) - Satisfaction and hope of the Christian Patriarchs in Damascus for a future of peace and reconciliation in Syria: in the aftermath of the Roman Pope's visit the Christian leaders of Damascus, all in Lebanon, stress the "full agreement" with Benedict XVI on the urgent need for a "peaceful resolution" of the Syrian crisis through dialogue and reconciliation.
Among the more than 200 Bishops who attended the Pope's visit there was the Greek-Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham; the Greek-orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim; the Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignatius III Younan; the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Zakka I Iwas who although sick and in need of care for dialysis, really wanted to be there.
In a statement to Fides Agency, the Patriarchs expressed "great consolation to be on the Holy Father's side with regards to vision on the irreplaceable existence of Christians in the Middle East." The leaders note that, with regard to the Syrian crisis, the Pope, "as the supreme moral authority, offered ethical criteria without interfering in the political field, reminding the international community the responsibility to save the life of the population and especially of minorities"
The Patriarchs, in particular, appreciate the passage in which the Holy Father recalled that "every Christian should be an instrument of peace and reconciliation in the Middle East," saying "No to extremism, violence, weapons, Yes to peace, dialogue and reconciliation. " "We are confident – they conclude - that this trip will be fruitful and that it will give powerful impetus to find new ways for peace in Syria." (PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/09/2012)