Patriarch Youssef

Gregorios III : ʺPress dictatorship over the Syrian crisis˝

12 5 2012

ʺThere’sno longer anyRevolution, thereare no more demonstrations. There isonly banditry and everyone is turning a blind eye to it.˝ These are not the words of President Bashar Assad, or one of his ministers, or a member of some Arab government of the region supportive of the regime, but those of the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, whose residence is in Damascus.

The prelate spoke in forthright terms when describing the current state of crisis in which Syria is plunged ʺForeign elements have come into the country and have even started beating up Christians, who have had to leave Homs given the dangerousness of the situation,˝explained the Patriarch, who did not conceal a certain dissatisfaction with respect to the situation deemed too soft by the Vatican in its regard. Gregorios III then lambasted the European press, with which he had some dealings during recent visits to the Old World in order to talk about just what was going on in Syria. ʺI am not defending the regime as I heard tell in France, but I am standing up for the facts. Newspapers are stereotyped, have their own sources and are not ready to listen to anyone, not even me, ˝ the prelate argued, not hesitating to talk of a real ʺpress dictatorship in the service of the United States.˝ The Patriarch even recounted an episode that happened to a bishop’s nephew working in Dubai (UAE) who, as he was walking to work heard a man behind him talking on his phone alleging that he was in Homs, while government troops were attacking the city, killing women and children.

ʺThere has been talk of conspiracy, but it’s much more serious than that: there is an international will to harm Syria,˝ Gregorios III then stated, wondering the while how some states could change in a few months ʺthe government that has done so much for the people,˝ though these very states cannot manage to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ʺNo sanction has been approved against the Israeli settlements, he added, although they are illegal. Everyone is convinced of that but no-one does anything about it.˝

Finally, answering a question from journalists to do with the Syrian army’s actions  with regard to the people, the Patriarch did not hesitate to state that the intervention of the armed forces was ʺlate and too light˝ to have a hope of ending the violence of the rebel bands.