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     Home > Synod >  2010-10-17 15:09:02
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Intervention of Chrbp. Yusuf SAĞ, Patriarchal Exarch of Antioch of the Syrians (TURKEY)

I am honored, as Vicar General of the confession of the Syrian Catholics in Turkey, to present the reality of the situation of our Church and of the children of our confession, which consists of approximately 1,500 people in the city of Istanbul, including her children from the city of Mardin, formerly a patriarchal see until the end of World War I, and from Diarbakar, and from Edessa and Escandarun and from the mountains of Tur Abdin and from Antioch.
To this number must be added at least 300 people scattered in different regions who came here from Iraq, after the Iran Iraq war of 1980. Up to now they have arrived and departed for the countries of the diaspora. And since our children are newcomers to the city of Istanbul, in search of wellbeing and security, we managed to have, with the support of the Latin Church, a church and a home in the convent of the Jesuits, after arranging with the Turkish State to have it for a period of 99 years. In this way we can carry out all our religious duties and pastoral care towards our children, through the activities centered on catechesis, the various confraternities and the charitable pastoral commission that takes care of the needy and especially of displaced Iraqis.
In addition, we continue to take care of our churches and take care of their property in Mardin, the former patriarchal see, although with great difficulty because we can use its revenue solely for the purpose of renovation and repair and that does not help, because of the slenderness of this income and that the funds remain trapped in the coffers of the state.
Recently we have recovered the church in the city of Escandarun, and it was inaugurated by our Patriarch after the martyrdom of the city’s Bishop Padovese.

We cooperate for the good of all, in the city of Istanbul with all the Catholic confessions of the Latins, Armenian Catholics, Chaldeans, in accordance with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in which I serve as President of the Commission of Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue. And our relationship with the Patriarchate of Fanar and the confession of the Armenian Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox. This is what led to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to bestow on me a Cross of the Good Shepherd as a sign of appreciation and encouragement for our fruitful cooperation.
We ask your prayers for the stability of our mission and for its progress.

[00170-02.03] [IN110] [Original text: Arabic]


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