Aleppo (Fides News Agency) - "We are close to the people who suffer from the violence and war in the Holy Land. We can only pray for peace. We unite ourselves spiritually and concretely with all the faithful who will celebrate days and moments of prayer and fasting for peace on October 17 and in the following days. We desire peace for the Holy Land, as the highest good, as a gift from God", Msgr. Mounir Saccal, a priest of the Syriac Catholic Eparchy of Aleppo and National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Syria, told Fides.
The Syrian people, tried by years of war, Msgr. Saccal recounts, "deeply understands the difficulties, the hardships, the suffering of the shocked and distraught civilian population in Palestine. The Syrian people are still living in a post-war situation, in a very, very slow phase of recovery. Economically there is still a fuel shortage and social services such as schools are functioning hiccupily and with difficulty. Progress is slow and difficult, but hope remains. Today it is rare to find a whole family; families have fragmented due to emigration after 12 years of war. And it is the young people who suffer the most. This situation also reflects on our churches, on the people who participate in community life, and it has consequences on vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The last four years have been the most difficult."
"Today," the priest said, "we watch with concern the emergence of a new war in the Middle East, and we see with great concern the risks of a possible regional expansion of the conflict. We live in a tormented land. But at the moment, unfortunately, we can do nothing for the suffering people in the Holy Land. It is impossible to organize and provide humanitarian aid. It is possible, however, to cultivate spiritual communion. Let us pray for peace and trust in Almighty God who can change and convert hearts."
Saccal concludes by saying, "As baptized Christians in Syria, we await and follow the recommendations of our patriarchs to give a response of faith, hope and charity as Christian communities of all denominations in this land where Jesus Christ lived. All of this is happening during the month of World Mission and as we prepare for World Mission Sunday on October 22. So let us say with Pope Francis: let us live this difficult time of violence and war with hearts on fire, ignited by the word of Jesus, and with moving steps on the way to proclaim his love."
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 12/10/2023)