Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Patriarchate of Antioch's Statement on the Martyrdom of Fr Fadi Haddad

Arabic original here. This translation is in no way official.

"O Lover of Mankind, inasmuch as You are the God of Peace and Father of Mercies"

We turn to you our sorrowful hearts and ask You for mercy, that in Your compassion You will lead us to peace, treat us kindly, have compassion for us, and guide us to reason and awareness, we humans who are created in your divine image and likeness.

On October 18 of this year, the Reverend Father Fadi Haddad, priest of the parish of the Prophet Elias in Qatana went out on a noble humanitarian mission to return a member of his parish who had been kidnapped a few days earlier. What occurred was more difficult than expected and Father Fadi was himself kidnapped along with the other intermediary, the ransom, and a private vehicle. The tragic series of events began with negotiations with the kidnappers who demanded an enormous sum of money.

There had been hope that consciences would be sober, lest a painful tragedy occur, which is what happened, as the body of Father Fadi Haddad was found on the morning of Thursday, October 25 in the region of Drousha. On him were indescribable marks of torture and mutilation. He was identified by the Reverend Father Elias el-Baba, priest of the town of Hina and he was transported to the town clinic. The Patriarchate in Damascus was informed of his martyrdom, that his pure and blameless blood may a sacrifice for reconciliation and harmony.

We turn to God, may He be exalted, asking mercy and forgiveness for him. At the same time, however, we condemn in the harshest terms this beastly and barbaric act aimed at civilians, the innocent, and men of God who strive to be apostles of peace who bring hearts together, dress the wounds of the suffering, comfort the sorrowing, and strengthen the weak in these difficult circumstances. We express the profundity of our pain as our beloved nation witnesses heinous acts that are unprecedented in its long history which has enjoyed a life built on the foundation of love, cooperation, peace, and harmony.

We urge all citizens, humanitarian organizations and all those of good will and good intentions, who are the majority of our kind, peaceful, and life-loving people, to join with us in condemning the kidnapping, murder, destruction, robbery, and assault on the security and well-being of citizens that is taking place. We call them to dialogue, peace, and harmony, especially the men of God among them.

We likewise call children of this country to cooperate and support each other in these difficult circumstances in order to contain the evil that is besetting us in the hope of putting an end to it and to the bath of innocent blood that takes place every day, in which innocent people from all elements of society in the nation are falling. We hope to arrive at putting a final end to it through all humanitarian means which lead to the outbreak of peace instead of war, love instead of hatred, rapprochement instead of estrangement, as our common history has seen and sees.

We turn to our beloved children and affirm that we are children of resurrection and life because our Lord taught us when He said:

"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

We are children of the hope that conquers all human feeling of weakness. We remind them that the Savior's crucifixion preceded His Resurrection from the dead. The path to Golgotha ends with life bursting forth from the tomb with the light of the Savior's glorious Resurrection.

We affirm to all our children that we remain steadfast in our faith and our hope in the power of our Lord who desired that we have life, and more abundantly (John 10:10). We call on them in the love of Christ to remain in their land and their nation and for us not to stand at the border of tragedy and weep for our dead, since it is the will of Life for us to grow in faith and hope. We urge them to look to our future which we are building by the power of faith, to realize free and dignified life for the children of our nation and our people.

We ask God that the martyrdom of Father Fadi Haddad be a sacrifice offered for the children of this nation and a stopping point to the painful events that we are living in this wicked time.

We ask God's rich and abundant mercy for our beloved departed martyr and we turn to him for mercy for our people, our beloved nation, and for all the peoples and countries of this afflicted Middle East

Issued by the Patriarchate on October 25, 2012.


Ochlophobist said...

at the border of tragedy is a fine turn of phrase.


Fr. Basil said...

Holy New Hieromartyr Fadi, pray for us!