Declaration concerning Syria



Declaration concerning Syria (Kindly scroll down for Maltese translation)

Conference of European Jesuit Provincials - Rome – Friday 25th October 2013. 

We the Jesuit Provincials, as major superiors of the Society of Jesus in the Middle East and in Europe, warmly welcome the Holy Father’s recent statement on Syria. With all his strength, he alerted international opinion to the Syrian tragedy and asked “all the parties in conflict to listen to the voice of their own conscience and not close themselves in solely on their own interests”1With him, we also declare that “never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake”, but that the only way to peace is through the culture of encounter and the culture of dialogue.

Steps toward peace

Therefore, we rejoice that the threat of air attacks against Syria has ceased and we support the launching of the process which aims at the destruction of all chemical weapons found on Syrian soil.  We welcome negotiations for a peace conference for Syria which have now begun and we urge that this peace process moves forward rapidly, courageously and firmly.  We ask all parties in the conflict, as well as the international community,

- to urgently seek  a cease-fire guaranteed by an international authority; 

- to establish a road-map to prepare the meeting of all the parties in conflict; 

- to convene  the peace conference  to reach a common agreement which safeguards the lives of the Syrian people.

Social and civil mobilization 

At the same time, we call once again for mobilization of all civil and social agencies to help the Syrian people face one of the biggest humanitarian tragedies of our century. The care of refugees both within and outside the country (about one quarter of the population), the need for food, medicine and medical aid, freeing detainees and hostages, and the reopening of educational institutions, continue to be urgent needs..

Interests at play

We also wish to draw attention to the necessity of acknowledging and naming the real interests that are at play, both locally, regionally or internationally, and which, unfortunately, do not always correspond with the interests of the Syrian people. In particular, we call for a reflection on the consequences of the production and sale of arms; we call for the cessation of the delivery and the sale of arms to all parties in conflict.

Necessary discernment

With the wider international community, we would also like to urge the refusal of all support, whether diplomatic or military, for  every  party, which  openly advocates any forms of violence, fanaticism or extremism. Respect for the dignity of the person as well as for human rights should constitute a criterion and a preliminary primary point of reference for all material aid.

Christian communities in Syria

Finally, we point particularly to the ill-treatment and victimisation of Christian communities living in Syria. Present in Syria since the beginning of the Christian era, these communities constitute an inseparable element of its social fabric and its cultural richness and they contribute actively to its development. Solutions advocating the exile or the elimination of these communities are unacceptable.  We want to encourage those Christian communities and to assure them that they can play a valuable role in their societies through faithful witness to the Gospel: a gospel that calls for peace, justice, forgiveness, understanding and reconciliation. 

Footnote 1.
Pope Francis - Angelus prayer -  1st September 2013

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Stqarrija dwar is-Sirja

Konferenza tal-Provinċjali Ġiżwiti Ewropej - 
Ruma  -  il-Ġimgħa 25 t’Ottubru 2013

Aħna il-Provinċjali Ġiżwiti, bħala Superjuri Maġġuri tal-Kumpanija ta’ Ġesù fil-Lvant Nofsani u fl-Ewropa nilqgħu b’ħeġġa l-istqarrija li għamel il-Papa dan l-aħħar dwar is-Sirja. Bil-qawwa tiegħu kollha huwa wissa l-opinjoni internazzjonali għat-traġedja Sirjana u talab “lin-naħat kollha jagħtu widen għall-vuċi tal-kuxjenza tagħhom u ma jingħalqux biss fuq l-interessi tagħhom.” 1 Miegħu aħna wkoll nistqarru li “l-użu tal-vjolenza qatt ma ġieb warajh il-paċi”, iżda li l-uniku mod għall-paċi huwa permezz tal-kultura ta’ laqgħat u l-kultura ta’ djalogu.

Passi fil-mixi lejn il-paċi 

Għaldaqstant aħna nifirħu li t-theddida tal-attakki mill-ajru kontra s-Sirja waqfet, u aħna favur li jinbeda proċess bit-tir li jinqerdu l-armi kemikali kollha li nstabu fuq l-art tas-Sirja.

Nagħtu merħba lill-konferenza tal-paċi għas-Sirja li issa bdiet u ninsistu li dan il-proċess ta’ paċi jimxi ’l quddiem b’ħeffa, b’kuraġġ u b’sodezza. Nitolbu lin-naħat kollha f’dan il-ġlied kif ukoll lill-kommunità internazzjonali,

  • Li b’urġenza jfittxu li jieqaf l-isparar u dan ikun garantit mill-awtorità internazzjonali;
  • Li jkun hemm road-map biex tħejji l-laqgħa tan-naħat kollha fil-ġlied;
  • Li jlaqqgħu l-konferenza tal-paċi biex din tilħaq ftehim komuni li jipproteġi l-ħajjiet tal-poplu Sirjan.

Mobilizzazzjoni soċjali u ċivili

Fl-istess ħin, għal darb’ oħra nagħmlu appell għall-mobilizzazzjoni tal-aġenżiji kollha civili u soċjali biex jgħinu lill-poplu Sirjan jiffaċċja waħda mill-akbar traġedji umanitarji tas-seklu tagħna. Il-kura tar-rifuġjati kemm gewwa kif ukoll barra l-pajjiż (madwar kwart tal-populazzjoni), il-ħtieġa tal-ikel, mediċini, għajnuna medika, il-ħelsien tal-arrestati u l-ostaġġi, u li jerggħu jinfetħu l-istituzzjonojoet edukattivi, dawn kollha huma ta’ ħtieġa urġenti.

Interessi oħra  attivi

Nixtiequ wkoll niġbdu l-attenzjoni għall-ħtiega li jkunu magħrufa u jissemmew il-vera interessi lokali, regjonali u internazzjonali, u li, sfortunatement, mhux dejjem jaqblu mal-vera interessi tal-poplu Sirjan. B’mod partikulari, nappellaw biex ikun hemm riflessjoni fuq il-konsegwenzi tal-produzzjoni u l-bejgħ tal-armi; nappdellaw biex dan l-għoti u l-bejgħ tal-armi lin-naħat kollha fil-ġlied jieqaf.

Dixxerniment meħtieġ 

Mal-kommunità internazjonali aktar wiesa’, nixtiequ ninfurzaw iċ-ċaħda ta’ kull għajnuna, kemm diplomatka jew militari, lill-kull naħa, għajnuna li tiffavorixxi bil-miftuħ kull forma ta’ vjolenza, fanatiċiżmu jew extremiżmu. Ir-rispett għad-dinjità tal-persuna kif ukoll għad-drittijiet umani għandhom jiffurmaw kriterju u pont ta’ riferiment prelimenari u primarju għal kull għajnuna materjali.

Kommunitajiet Insara fis-Sirja

Fl-aħħarnett, nħarsu b’mod partikulari għat-trattament ħażin u vittimazzjoni tal-kommunitajiet Insara fis-Sirja. Dawn il-kommunitajiet ilhom fis-Sirja sa mill-bidu ta’ l-era Nisranija, u jiffurmaw element inseparabbli tal-istruttura soċjali u tar-rikkezza kulturali, u jagħtu sehem attiv għall-iżvilupp tal-pajjiż. Soluzzjonijiet li jiddefendu l-esilju jew il-qerda ta’ dawn il-kommunitajiet mhumiex aċċettabbli. Aħna rridu ninkoraġġixxu dawk il-kommunitajiet Insara u nassikurawhom li jistgħu ikollhom rwol prezzjuż fis-soċjetajiet tagħhom permezz tax-xhieda fidila tal-Vanġelu: il-Vanġelu li jsejħilna għall-paċi, ġustizzja, maħfra, ftehim u rikonċiljazzjoni.

Footnote 1: 
Papa Frangisku “It-talba tal-Angelus” l-1 ta’ Settembri 2013

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