Church of England Diocese in Europe

The Assisi initiative for Syria - open letter to the Secretary of the United Nations

We thought you would all like to read the statement/open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations from the Franciscan institutes, bishop, mayor etc of Assisi on Syria.

The Bishop of Assisi with the Franciscan Families and the entire Diocese, the Mayor of Assisi with the public institutions and associations of the City, the Table of Peace, Network of Peace, invite one day of prayer and reflection for peace in SYRIA Friday 27 April 2018 so that the weapons are closed and the dialogue reopens. For this reason, with Franciscan humility, we allow ourselves to send one open letter to António Gutierrez, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

For many years we have been powerless to witness the "slaughter of the innocent" that continues to perpetrate in Syria, a paradigmatic conflict of wars made for interest, money, resources, domination of peoples. The sufferings and griefs that even supranational bodies such as the World Health Organization have documented to Ghouta and Douma, strongly challenge our consciences and do not allow us to remain indifferent and silent in the face of hatred that destroys life, especially of the most little ones who pay the highest price.

We want to give voice to the pain of the many victims, especially children, who invoke pity and peace; at the same time we ask for an end to a confrontation between the parties that seems to know only the path of violence, with the use of conventional weapons or even banned from international treaties. On the basis of and respecting the same international jurisprudence and of the faith that motivates us, we believe that we ca not stem the violence with further interventions that only cause an escalation of the armed conflict from the point of view of revenge and not of justice and protection of the innocent: evil is not fought with evil.

The city of Assisi which, by vocation, is a promoter of peace and already in the past has become the protagonist of fraternity gestures, wants to become an instrument of peace, with its own spaces intoned to Franciscan humility, to host mediation meetings to foster a dialogue among all the parties involved in the conflict and to promote the end of the atrocious sufferings faced by so many defenceless citizens.

We address you, Secretary-General of the United Nations, so that, overcoming the logic of vetoes, you want to ensure the presence of UN personnel on the territory concerned as a force for interposition to protect people, that access to humanitarian aid and especially allows the safeguarding children.

We wish to inform you of the fact that on the 27th of every month the ecclesial community of Assisi proposes to believers of every faith to gather in prayer to ask for the gift of peace, in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, which this invocation posed in his every greeting: "May the Lord give you peace".

This monthly initiative is an echo of what Saint John Paul II proposed on October 27, 1986, convening in Assisi the representatives of the world's religions. That event did not remain closed in itself, on the contrary, according to the same prophetic words of the Pope, it gave way to the "Spirit of Assisi" that we intend to preserve and propose again.

On April 27th the communities will gather in Assisi and in many other parts of the world to implore the gift of peace for the one God, for SYRIA and the many other situations of conflict. We trust that all humanity is involved in the desire for peace and brotherhood.

With deep gratitude and gratitude for what we want to do, we give you a cordial greeting with the words of St. Francis "the Lord give you Peace", from the City of St. Francis and St. Clare witnesses and peacemakers.

Web master: translation by courtesy of Google.