Christians in Syria React to Jubilee Year of Mercy

Syrian Catholic Bishop: From Hatred, Wounds, Only Mercy Can Save Us

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Friday evening during the penitential liturgy over which he presided in St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis announced an extraordinary Jubilee of mercy, and just a day after, Syrian Catholics are reflecting.

According to Fides, Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite, said that as Syria enters its fifth year of conflict, “Let us ask and beg God’s mercy for ourselves, for the Church here, for all our friends and fellow travelers, and also for all those who commit atrocities in the name of God: may God himself have mercy on us and them, and touch the hearts of all.”

The Franciscan bishop conveyed this sentiment, describing the feelings and expectations of the announcement of a Jubilee year dedicated to mercy.

“For all of us,” he explained, “experiencing God’s mercy is a vital issue. Only those who experience the mercy of God can then be merciful with others.”

The innocent’s pain and suffering, he added, “seem absurd, and can harden the most generous hearts, to the point of becoming wicked. Only the miracle of mercy can heal the wounds of our souls, and produce fruits of conversion and reconciliation.”

The bishop concluded, saying, “Pope Francis repeats that mercy is not a pastoral attitude, but is the very substance of the Gospel.”.

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