Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Early Reports of Bishops Release Premature

The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has made the following statement on Facebook:

"Beloved, do not pass around news here and there that play with people's emotions. there is no news about Their Eminences. Let us pray until there is certain news."  

The Antiochian Archdiocese of North America has released the following statement:

"There have appeared many reports in both the Eastern and Western press that the two hierarchs who were abducted yesterday by terrorists in Syria, Metropolitan Boulos Yazge, Antiochian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, and Archbishop Youhanna Ibrahim, Syriac Archbishop of Aleppo, have been released. His Eminence Metropolitan Philip spoke by phone this morning to His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East (pictured), who said that these reports are false, and that the release of these two hierarchs has NOT taken place.

We ask you to continue to pray for their safety, and eventual release. Confirmed updates will be published as soon as they are known."

This is in response to reports such as the ones here and here, here, and (in French) here.  Their apparent source in French can be read here.

The Guardian's live feed on Syria, which is closely following the kidnapping, can be read here. They are reporting that the bishops have been released--- citing a non-existent bishop named "Tony Yazigi"!!! The BBC cites the same (fictitious?!) source here. The NYT relays the same non-existent source from Reuters, here. This should be a lesson on the reliability of English-language media about what goes on in Syria!

According to Amen.gr, here:  

"Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has just had a telephone communication with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, during which he briefed them on the release of Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo Paul and Syriac Bishop Gregory.
The Ecumenical Patriarch expressed his satisfaction with the successful outcome of the case that shocked Christians of the whole world."


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