· Speaking to the Patriarch of Antioch for Syrians on the Pope's Visit to Lebanon ·
“The Arabic word haqq has two meanings: truth and law, in the sense of justice. No other language, as far as I know, has this particular richness of expression in a single word. For the Arab peoples might the fact that there is such a close link between truth and justice not be a significant coincidence, and even a commitment?”. For Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch for Syrians, whose headquarters are located in the Syrian district of Beirut, “if violence has always been abhorrent in the Middle East, perhaps it is becoming even more so”. These are words which the Patriarch speaks “with sorrow”, noting that, on the contrary, “peace is unfortunately very far from the life of our people today”. In the interview with our newspaper, the Patriarch, Syrian by birth, relaunches the proposal of a round table for peace, to put an end to the acts of violence and to find a peaceful, shared solution that will guarantee greater democracy and respect for human rights. In this perspective much is expected from the now imminent Visit of Benedict XVI, who is scheduled to arrive in Beirut on 14 September.
For the Patriarch “the basic idea is simple: to spell out clearly the desire of Christians and of Muslims to live side by side in peace, collaborating in order to build together a more democratic system of a pluralistic coexistence”. In the complex Middle-Eastern context, the Pope's Visit “could open up new vistas, now unthinkable, and inspire hopes of peace and reconciliation”. And the Muslims are ready to listen to him.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 18, 2018
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