Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Tuesday, 23 April 2024
MECC issues a statement on 11th anniversary of the abduction of archbishops of Aleppo :

Following is the text of the statement issued by the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) dated April 22, marking the 11th anniversary of  the abduction of archbishops of Aleppo:


As we mark the 11th anniversary, the fate of the two bishops of Aleppo, beloved by their churches, their parishioners, and all who knew them, remain unknown. What can we say to a world that remains silent and indifferent to this tragedy? Do we raise our voices loudly, knowing it is deaf? Do we appeal to its conscience, knowing it has lost all sense of mercy? Do we turn to its institutions, knowing they are ineffective? The world today seems to live by the rule, ‘He would have answered if whom I called is alive, but there is no life for those whom I call.’


The world’s attitude is shameful, ignoring the pain of the people, the families of the abducted and forcibly disappeared, who number in millions worldwide. This includes the people, followers, and admirers of the Archbishops of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim and Archbishop Boulos Yazigi, who are eagerly awaited and whose absence has left a significant legacy and a vast void.


On their 10th anniversary last year, we transformed their absence into an ecumenical humanitarian symbol. We turned the day of their abduction into an ecumenical and global humanitarian cause, beyond merely demanding their return. We named this date ‘The ecumenical day for the abducted and forcibly absented,’ considering that the absence of these two venerable shepherds represents the absence of everyone who has lost family and loved ones through the same criminal means that have plunged entire families into a furnace of misery and heartbreak.


We believe that the tragedy of the absence of these two venerable pontiffs reflects the tragedy of thousands of families and millions of people who have lost a loved one under tragic circumstances and are still living in hope of receiving some comforting news.


We will continue to commemorate their abduction every year. We will continue to challenge the silence and ignorance of officials worldwide, and we will continue to appeal to their consciences, not only for the sake of the two venerable church leaders but also for all those who are forcibly absented worldwide. We hold decision-makers and those who know the secrets of things accountable before history and humanity, based on our firm conviction that they are capable of doing what would please the vast number of families who live in a hope that diminishes as time goes by.


We call on all those who value human feelings and dignity, all those who care about human rights, justice, freedom, and peace, to keep their voices loud in defense of the abducted, unjustly detained, forcibly disappeared, those who groan in dark basements and do not know their fate, and to remain a loud voice in the wilderness of indifference and disregard for human beings.


We pray to the Almighty Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth, whose reign has no end, the knower of mysteries and intentions, to inspire the perpetrators of the act of abducting and absenting to pause and reflect, perhaps bringing some comfort and tranquility to those who stay up at night waiting for a loved one who is gone.