Syrian patriarch rejects military intervention plan

The leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has argued that despite reported chemical attacks in Syria, foreign military intervention is a destructive option that will only worsen the situation, reports the Catholic News Agency.

'I am adding my voice to all the statements made by most of my brother Eastern Patriarchs, several Episcopal Conferences, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and especially His Holiness Pope Francis and his representative at the United Nations in Geneva,' said Melkite Patriarch Gregorios III in a statement last Friday.

'I state categorical rejection by Syria’s Catholic Churches, including the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, in Arab countries and those of the expansion, of any foreign intervention in Syria and any attack or intervention of any sort whatsoever.'

Patriarch Gregorios III, a native-born Syrian, is the president of the Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria, as well as patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, an Eastern Church in full communion with Rome.

His comments come amid escalating tension in Syria, which has been embroiled for more than two years in a violent civil war between government forces under President Bashar al-Assad and various rebel groups.

Latest figures from the United Nations estimate that more than two million people have fled Syria as refugees, 4.25 million people have been internally displaced within Syria’s borders, and more than 100,000 people have been killed since the violence began.

FULL STORY Melkite leader says attack on Syria would make situation worse (CNA)

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