Follow usTwitterFacebook


31 Dec 2015 Q&A Comments (2)

Was I wrong to take the host back to my pew?

Full Question I sit in the first row at Mass because I am hearing-impaired. When visiting a church recently, the usher gestured for me to go up for Communi…

Read more

31 Aug 2016 Uncategorized No comments

Baghdad patriarch urges international community to do more to stop ISIS

Patriarch Sako said Christians are waiting for governments and religious authorities to work together to 'confront and dismantle terrorism' A Patriarch of the …

Read more

23 Oct 2014 USA Comments (1)

We're 'just touching the surface' of St John Paul II's teachings

Washington D.C., Oct 23, 2014 / 05:02 pm .- St. John Paul II's life and teachings offer a witness to love that is so profound it is only beginning to be be mine…

Read more

08 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (5)

Does the Sunday observance begin on Saturday evening, in imitation of the Jewish sabbath?

Full Question In ancient Judaism the sabbath was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. If Sunday is the Christian sabbath, should we celebrate it …

Read more

10 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Church’s mission is not political, says Coptic pope

As Egypt prepares for parliamentary elections, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to which most of the nation’s Christians belong, emphasized that the “Cop…

Read more

27 Jan 2015 Articles Comments (2)

Catholics! Keep Your Trees Up!

New Year’s Day promises two certainties: college football bowl games and Christmas trees on the curb. To Catholics, of course, January 1 is the Solemnity …

Read more

17 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Pope Asks for Prayers for Upcoming Trip to Albania

At the end of today's general audience, Pope Francis greeted those present in various languages. In his greetings in Arabic, he addressed the faithful of the Ho…

Read more

08 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Why was it necessary for Jesus to have been born of a woman?

Full Question Why was it necessary for Jesus to have been born of a woman? Answer Vatican II responds: The Father of mercies willed that the Inc…

Read more

16 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

2015 World Meeting of Families Will Help Synod on the Family

The 8th World Day of Families, to be held in Philadelphia from September 22-27, 2015, was presented today in the Holy See Press Office. The theme of the event w…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Archbishop tells Canada: accepting refugees won’t help Syria

Seeing refugees being resettled in Canada ‘hurts us a lot’, says Archbishop of Aleppo

Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Melkite Catholic archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, has said he would like to see Canada help Syrians to stay in Syria instead of accepting them as refugees.

During a visit to Montreal he was asked what he thought about Canada welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees in the past few months.

He said: “We’re not happy when we see the Canadian government moving refugees and facilitating their integration. It hurts us. A lot.”

Archbishop Jeanbart knows Canada well. Some of his family lives in Montreal. He said he has visited Canada about 20 times in his lifetime.

However, he said, he would rather see the Canadian government making more efforts to allow the Syrian population to stay in Syria.

“It has to help them stay where they are, to have the bare necessities, but also to find peace. And to get it over with these rebels, these terrorists, and drive both sides to talk. To find a political solution.”

The archbishop said he thinks Canadians are not aware enough of what’s happening in Syria.

“They pity the Syrians and the Christians. But do they really know about their problems? No, I don’t think so. Because if they did, they would have made efforts to end this war, to prevent it from continuing.”

He spoke about one family in Aleppo torn apart when their house was destroyed by a bomb. A 13-year-old son, Fouad Banna, was killed instantly.

“It was awful: a bomb that the rebels deliberately launched on a Christian neighborhood, on a popular borough. It has blown everything apart, destroyed countless houses. Such was the case of Fouad’s home,” he said.

Fouad’s mother and father were badly injured. Struggling for their lives in an intensive care unit, they were not able to attend the funeral of their son, a ceremony led by Archbishop Jeanbart. Fouad’s sister, Rosy, 17, was the only member of the family left unscathed by the attack.

“When I visited her, to see what I could do for her, she nestled against me and said: ‘Lord, pray so that my parents stay alive.’ I then asked her: ‘But what can I do for you?’ She answered: ‘Pray.’

“It’s a glimpse of the hardships happening back home. To understand the tragedy that struck our city, we have to look at its story, what it was in the past. The city is 8,000 years old. It gave civilization to the world,” said Archbishop Jeanbart, giving details about what Aleppo brought to history, culture, science and economics. Located in northern Syria, Aleppo was until recently a driving force for the country’s economy, providing work to 1.2 million workers and hosting 150,000 university students.

“More than half of the city’s population left over the last four or five years,” added the archbishop who has served there since 1995.

While Archbishop Jeanbart was in Montreal in late April, the fighting continued in Aleppo, and more civilians were killed. On social media, new photos of death and destruction were once again shared, showing yet another face of distress. In front of all this desolation, Archbishop Jeanbart said he worked to stay positive.

“I pray, and my prayer gives me a supplement of courage and faith,” he said.

“We will reconstruct our country. We want to build and stay,” he said, pounding the arm of his chair. “We want it to be our country and stay in this country where Christianity was born, and give a testimony of Christ’s love and charity, and of the possibility to live together, as men believing in God and respectful of one another.”


1 comment

  1. Doug Reply

    This is the voice of reason. All western nations should make every effort to assist “refuges” in their home land and to stop the insane influx into European nations and the Americas.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories