by NZ CATHOLIC staff
WELLINGTON — The Catholic Church in New Zealand has been asked by the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Gregorios III, to talk to the government here in the interests of peace.
In a letter dated April 27 and sent to the presidents of bishops’
conferences, Archbishop Gregorios wrote of the joy of attending canonisation ceremonies in Rome for St John XXIII and St John Paul II.
While there, he wrote, he spoke to Pope Francis, to Cardinal Pietro
Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, and to other cardinals and
bishops about the tragedy of Syria and Syria’s Christians arising from the war there. But he also wants bishops worldwide to enlist the support of their governments.
“Now I am turning to you and to the members of your episcopal
conference to request your intervention to help the Holy Father act
to put an end to this senseless war’s massacres, by communicating the voice and viewpoint of the Church to your government.”
The Catholic Church in Syria supports the country’s president
and government for the stability of the country, and not the terrorists who are massacring Muslims and Christians, he wrote. “The Church is in favour of the presidential election.”
According to the patriarch, the future of Syria, the Syrian people,
and especially Syria’s Christians, churches and institutions is at
stake, as is the future of Christians throughout the Middle East.
“With the help of the world’s churches, we want the Church of
Syria to be a servant and minister of peace and reconciliation.”
Gregorios III was elected head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch and all the east of Alexandria and of Jerusalem, in 2000.