Regarding release efforts of two kidnapped Archbishops.
Resulting from an intense dialogue with the State Department, US political figures and international diplomats, efforts by the Archdiocese were further enhanced by a meeting of Prime Minister Erdogan with His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim. On Friday May 17, 2013, in an orchestrated session at the Turkish Ambassador’s residence, during a reception ending the week-long visit of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Tan invited His Eminence to the reception to assure the face to face meeting opportunity. His Eminence urged Prime Minister Erdogan to use the authority of his office to determine the status of the two abducted...
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The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; for He has been raised, as He said. Come see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has risen from the dead and indeed is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him” (Matthew 28:5).
The word resurrected means brought back to life. Easter is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead and is a time to “bring back to life” our faith in Him. Easter invites us...
On Thursday May 2nd, 2013, His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, our Archbishop, joined His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, for a special Mass offered on behalf of the two kidnapped prelates in Syria; Mor Gregorios Yuhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazeji. During the welcoming remarks and the sermon His Eminence the Cardinal expressed his solidarity with the Christians in Syria and prayed for the well-being and immediate release of the two Archbishops and other clergy and laity who are in captivity. His message was heard loud and clear and resonated in the magnificent Cathedral....
His Holiness Karekin II Sent a Message of Support to His Holiness Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch
On April 26, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, sent a letter to His Holiness Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church, expressing his concerns on the occasion of abduction of His Eminence Metropolitan John Ibrahim and Metropolitan Paul Yazigi, two Bishops of the Orthodox Church who were kidnapped during their philanthropic mission near Aleppo.
In his letter Vehapar specifically states: “We strongly condemn the kidnapping of these clergymen. The heightening of inter-religious tensions and rise of religious intolerance do not promote stabilization of the situation...
On Thursday April 25, 2013 a delegation of our Syriac community from New Jersey and Washington DC consisted of Father Fadi Abdel-Ahed, Mike Naim Ghassali, Sam Alos, Gabe Adamo, Jack Henawi and Jay Gazal, visited several members of the Senate and Congress including Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Tim Kain of Virginia, Congressman Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Congresswoman Sherry Bustos of Illinois. They met to inform the members of Congress of the kidnapping of our two Bishops and asked them to immediately contact the State Department to demand action for safe resolution. The delegation continues to be in contact with...
IGNATIUS PATRIARCH OF THE HOLY SEE OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
SUPREME HEAD OF THE UNIVERSAL SYRIAC ORTHODOX CHURCH
ZAKKA 1ST, IWAS
We offer our apostolic benediction and benevolent prayers to our brethren, his Beatitude Mor Baselius Thomas 1st, Catholicos of India, and Their Eminences the Metropolitans, our spiritual children the Patriarchal Vicars, monks, priests, nuns, deacons and virtuous deaconesses, and our blessed Syriac Orthodox People worldwide. May the divine providence embrace them through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and St. Peter the head of the Apostles, and the rest of the saints and martyrs. Amen.
After asking for your well-being, we say:
Further to our Apostolic Bull Reference: 149/2013 issued on 24 April 2013 and in light of the latest events and the absence of any fresh updates in relation to the kidnapping of our dear brothers Mor Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim, Archbishop of Aleppo and environs, and Mor Boulos Yazigi, Metropolitan of Aleppo and Alexandretta for the Greek Orthodox Church. We renew our call to all the faithful of our Church worldwide to continue their prayers beseeching God the Almighty to shower us and together with His Eminence Mor Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim and His Eminence Mor Boulos Yazigi, His peace and tranquillity and to return the two Archbishops to their Archdioceses so they can continue serving the Church and the nation.
We know that many of our spiritual children and friends worldwide are praying with us asking that all efforts currently exerted to release the two Archbishops continue, ensuring the safe return of the Archbishops to their ecclesiastical service.
We continue our communication with heads of all sister churches and in particular the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch as we exert every effort and obligation worthy of this event.
After consultation with the esteemed members of our Holy Synod we have decided to limit the celebrations of Palm Sunday and the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord to the celebrations at the church, and we are to decline the visits of any well-wishers during this holy season if our Archbishops are not released.
May God the Almighty accept your fasting and prayers. Amen.
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...