CWN - Speaking from Damascus, the leader of the Melkite Catholic Church has told the AsiaNews service that an American-led assault on Syria would be “a criminal act, which will only reap more victims.”

Patriarch Gregory III Laham said that the US and other Western nations have done nothing to stop an influx of “Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill.” Today the country desperately needs stability, he said, and “an armed attack against the government really has no sense at all.”

The Melkite Patriarch strongly supported the call by Pope Francis for peaceful dialogue and an end to the civil war in Syria. He said that he had sent the Pope’s plea for peace to all the Melkite parishes in Syria.

Patriarch Gregory voiced his concern that if Islamic militants come to power, Syria’s Christians will be under heavier pressure to leave the country. Without a Christian presence to ease conflicts between Muslims, he added, there would be no realistic hope for democracy in Syria.

 

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Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)