Turkish president speaks to one of kidnapped Syrian bishops

Turkey's President, Abdullah GülTurkey’s President, Abdullah Gül

Abdullah Gül has informed the Syriac Orthodox Church that he spoke to Yuhanna Ibrahim yesterday. The two kidnapped bishops are said to be in good health

Marco Tosatti Taken from Vatican Insider

The President of Turkey, Abdullah Gül, has informed figures of the Syriac Orthodox Church that yesterday he had the chance to speak with Yuhanna Ibrahim, one of the two prelates who were recently kidnapped near Aleppo as they were apparently attempting to negotiate the release of two priests who had been in the hands of the rebels for some time. The news was communicated by the Syrian Orthodox bishop, Daniel Kourieh in Beirut. The Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Kakka Iwas, was told that the Turkish president had “spoken” to Yuhanna Ibrahim “directly”.


Ibrahim was kidnapped alongside Bishop Boulos Yaziji, of the Greek Orthodox Church of Aleppo. Kourieh added that some in the Syriac Orthodoc Church are aware that President Gül is keeping a close eye on any development in the situation and is doing everything in his power to ensure the bishops’ release. It is believed the prelates are being held by an Islamic and fundamentalist rebel group.


As far as is known, the bishops are in good health and there has so far been no news of a ransom request or any demands for certain conditions to be met before their release can be guaranteed. It appears Gül did not speak to the Patriarch directly. This is according to a statement given to the Voice of Lebanon by the Syriac Orthodox Church’s spokesman, Efram. “Gül spoke to a Syriac Orthodox bishop in Turkey and informed him that Turkey is engaged in efforts to obtain the release of bishops Ibrahim and Yazihi.”


The bishops were kidnapped on 22 April in the village of Kafr Dael, about 10 km from Aleppo.  It is believed, though not confirmed, that the kidnappers are Chechen jihadists. Thanks to the support given by Turkey, Britain and especially the U.S., there has been an Islamic fundamentalist “foreign legion” operating in Syria for some time now. Its members come from all over the world, including Europe. They are still holding two priests captive: Fr. Michel Kayval, an Armenian Catholic and Fr. Maher Mahfouz, a Greek Orthodox priest, who were abducted last February.


In an interview with AsiaNews’ Simone Cantarini, the Greek Melkite archbishop of Aleppo, Jean Clement Jeanbart, stated that the over 1000 faithful that attend the afternoon prayer vigils for Mgr. Ibrahim and Mgr. Yahizi in the local cathedral, were shocked by the conflicting news that has been circulating in recent days about the alleged release of the clerics.  “For several months – he said – a dictatorship of” false information exists in Syria that creates confusion and false hopes.”” The Western media – the prelate continued – have a great responsibility cannot play with the lives and consciences of the people. There are men and women here who risk their lives to affirm and tell the truth and who will not stoop to bartering with religious groups or rebels or the regime.”


The bishop said all Christians, particularly priests and bishops have “the duty to witness to and follow the path of truth in this land troubled not only by bombs, but also by hatred fomented through the lies.”


About The Voice Of Bombay's Catholic Laity

Bombay Laity Ezekiel’s Chapter 3 Task as Watchman 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for[b] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.
This entry was posted in Church Worldwide news. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s