On Bombing Iraqi Churches

Patriarch Gregory sitting on a chair on a porch

A statement from

His Beatitude Gregory III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem

Issued – Boston, Massachusetts August 2, 2004

During our pastoral visit to the United States of America for the Installation of the Most Reverend Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros as the 4th Eparch of Newton for the Melkite Greek Catholics in the United States, we learned from the news media that five churches in Baghdad and Mossul have been bombed, killing and wounding innocent people who were praying in these Sacred Houses of God for peace in the world.

We offer to the Almighty God our fervent prayers for the deceased and the wounded victims, as well as for every soul in distress in the cherished land of Iraq.

We have no doubt that the perpetrators of these crimes aim at hurting all Iraqis of all religious denominations. Only impious people without any sense of morality are able to commit such cruelties.

We appeal to our Iraqi brothers to stand together in defense of their national unity. It is their only safeguard against the plots that aim at destroying Iraq’s integrity, security, and independence. These misdeeds are also meant to thwart the efforts that are being exerted to secure a better standard of living for the Iraqis and the inhabitants of the whole Middle East.

(signed) Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem