-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Syriac Orthodox Church To Remain in Damascus
Patriarchate of Antioch Deny Rumors of Possible Move Due to Civil War
DAMASCUS, August 06, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of the Syriac Orthodox Church denied assertions that the See of the Patriarchate of Antioch intends to move from Damascus due to the ongoing civil war in Syria. The Patriarch, along with members of the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church, affirmed their position in a statement sent to Fides News Agency.
The message, which was issued by the secretariat of Patriarchate, addressed the allegations that spoke of a possible transfer of the patriarchal See in Turkey as an obliged result of the tragic situation of civil war that has been tearing apart Syria for 28 months. Moving the See of the Patriarchate of Antioch, the message stated would mean the danger of "extinction" of the Syriac Orthodox Church and its spiritual heritage through a "fusion in melting pot of other communities and other nationalities".
"We are interested in not only the survival of the See of Antioch in Syria but also the permanence of our people in every part of Syrian territory" together "with our Muslim brothers and other Christian communities," the statement read.
The statement also confirmed that "Patriarch Mar Zakka I Iwas is in good health" and reject with disdain speculation circulated in recent days that crept possible intra-ecclesiastical rivalry among the causes of the kidnapping of the two Archbishops of Aleppo, Mar Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (Syriac Orthodox) and Boulos al-Yazigi (Greek-Orthodox), of whom there has been no news since April 22.
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