Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

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Statement of Timothy Cardinal Dolan Archbishop of New York President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
April 26, 2013

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), called the April 22 kidnapping of two Orthodox archbishops in Syria and the killing of their driver “a sign of the terrible violence that is destroying the fabric of Syrian society.” He joined Pope Francis in praying for their return in an April 26 statement and said the Catholic Church would “continue to work through all channels,” including the Vatican and the diplomatic and international communities for their release.

The full statement follows:

The kidnappings of two archbishops in Syria and the murder of their driver continue to weigh heavily on the hearts of people of good will. The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo and Iskanderun, Boulos Yazigi, and the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo, Youhanna Ibrahim, remain in our prayers. Ironically, the two men were returning from a mission of mercy to aid Syrians suffering from the violence gripping their nation when they were accosted. We join with our Holy Father, Pope Francis, in “praying that they may return to their communities soon.” The kidnapping of two men of peace is a sign of the terrible violence that is destroying the fabric of Syrian society. We will continue to work through all channels with the Holy See, the diplomatic and international community and all agencies of good will. I plead for their release and for a political solution that ends the violence and protects the citizenship rights of all Syrians, including minorities.

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