Williams laments Lebanon vicious spiral of violence

Williams laments Lebanon vicious spiral of violence

By staff writers
20 Jul 2006

Williams laments Lebanon vicious spiral of violence

-20/07/06

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has written to the heads of churches in the Lebanon to express solidarity with them ñ and to issue a strongly-worded condemnation of the escalating violence in the Middle East.

The Archbishop, who is spiritual leader of the worldís 77 million Anglicans, says that he has ìbeen alarmed at the spiral of violence, the vicious circle of attack and retaliation, that has developed over the last few days.î

He goes on: ìMy prayers and sympathy are with the principal victims, the innocent civilians on both sides of the border, who now live in terror and are powerless to prevent the collective suffering at the hands of Hezbollah and the Israeli military.î

Says Dr Williams: ìThe distress felt at the destruction not only of life but also the infrastructure so painstakingly rebuilt after years of conflict will, I know, be acute and reinforce the sense of helplessness at being caught up in a wider regional struggle. My condemnation of this resort to violence is unequivocal.î

Meanwhile, CAFOD (the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development) has launched an appeal for the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East directed at Catholic parishes in England and Wales.

The agency, which is an official relief and development organization of the Catholic bishopsí conference, has already pledged £100,000 to its local partner Caritas Lebanon, and £25,000 to Caritas Jerusalem in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The full text of the Archbishop of Canterburyís letter reads:

Grace and Peace from the Lord Jesus Christ at this traumatic time for you and the people of Lebanon.

Today, as thousands of foreign passport-holders are evacuated from Beirut, I am only too conscious of the plight of those, from all communities, who have no place of refuge from the violence that has been unleashed. It pains us all greatly to see again the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East fleeing the land where they have borne witness for two millennia and to contemplate the hardships that will be faced by those who stay.

I have been alarmed at the spiral of violence, the vicious circle of attack and retaliation, that has developed over the last few days. My prayers and sympathy are with the principal victims, the innocent civilians on both sides of the border, who now live in terror and are powerless to prevent the collective suffering at the hands of Hezbollah and the Israeli military. The distress felt at the destruction not only of life but also the infrastructure so painstakingly rebuilt after years of conflict will, I know, be acute and reinforce the sense of helplessness at being caught up in a wider regional struggle. My condemnation of this resort to violence is unequivocal. I offer you every support in your efforts to bring it to an end and allow Lebanon to be, once again, a living message of co-existence and solidarity between different religious communities.

Remembering the times we have met, even recently, I look forward to the chance to do so again in calmer times ñ either here or in Lebanon. Although our Christian message may seem, in these dark days, a small voice in a terrible wilderness of suffering it is delivered in the confidence that Godís purposes for us and his people will prevail and that purpose is one of peace, harmony and reconciliation.

May our Lord Jesus Christ give you, as chief pastors of his flock, every strength and blessing in your ministry.

[Also on Ekklesia: Gaza, Israel and Lebanon crises are imperilling Middle East security 19/07/06; Historic Galilee sites hit by rocket attacks 18/07/06; Pope condemns Lebanon raids as G8 converges and Blair blames Iran and Syria 17/07/06; Christians call for end to Lebanon violence as Israel vows revenge 16/07/06; Middle East Christians in anguish over Lebanon violence 14/07/06; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace'; Christian warnings substantiated as Israel targets Hamas; Ex-spy wages peace on terror in the Middle East; UK church and aid agencies concerned over Gaza situation; Presbyterians threatened over Israel policy; The Forgotten Church [File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat]; Global faith gathering tackles religious roots of terror]

Williams laments Lebanon vicious spiral of violence

-20/07/06

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has written to the heads of churches in the Lebanon to express solidarity with them ñ and to issue a strongly-worded condemnation of the escalating violence in the Middle East.

The Archbishop, who is spiritual leader of the worldís 77 million Anglicans, says that he has ìbeen alarmed at the spiral of violence, the vicious circle of attack and retaliation, that has developed over the last few days.î

He goes on: ìMy prayers and sympathy are with the principal victims, the innocent civilians on both sides of the border, who now live in terror and are powerless to prevent the collective suffering at the hands of Hezbollah and the Israeli military.î

Says Dr Williams: ìThe distress felt at the destruction not only of life but also the infrastructure so painstakingly rebuilt after years of conflict will, I know, be acute and reinforce the sense of helplessness at being caught up in a wider regional struggle. My condemnation of this resort to violence is unequivocal.î

Meanwhile, CAFOD (the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development) has launched an appeal for the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East directed at Catholic parishes in England and Wales.

The agency, which is an official relief and development organization of the Catholic bishopsí conference, has already pledged £100,000 to its local partner Caritas Lebanon, and £25,000 to Caritas Jerusalem in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The full text of the Archbishop of Canterburyís letter reads:

Grace and Peace from the Lord Jesus Christ at this traumatic time for you and the people of Lebanon.

Today, as thousands of foreign passport-holders are evacuated from Beirut, I am only too conscious of the plight of those, from all communities, who have no place of refuge from the violence that has been unleashed. It pains us all greatly to see again the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East fleeing the land where they have borne witness for two millennia and to contemplate the hardships that will be faced by those who stay.

I have been alarmed at the spiral of violence, the vicious circle of attack and retaliation, that has developed over the last few days. My prayers and sympathy are with the principal victims, the innocent civilians on both sides of the border, who now live in terror and are powerless to prevent the collective suffering at the hands of Hezbollah and the Israeli military. The distress felt at the destruction not only of life but also the infrastructure so painstakingly rebuilt after years of conflict will, I know, be acute and reinforce the sense of helplessness at being caught up in a wider regional struggle. My condemnation of this resort to violence is unequivocal. I offer you every support in your efforts to bring it to an end and allow Lebanon to be, once again, a living message of co-existence and solidarity between different religious communities.

Remembering the times we have met, even recently, I look forward to the chance to do so again in calmer times ñ either here or in Lebanon. Although our Christian message may seem, in these dark days, a small voice in a terrible wilderness of suffering it is delivered in the confidence that Godís purposes for us and his people will prevail and that purpose is one of peace, harmony and reconciliation.

May our Lord Jesus Christ give you, as chief pastors of his flock, every strength and blessing in your ministry.

[Also on Ekklesia: Gaza, Israel and Lebanon crises are imperilling Middle East security 19/07/06; Historic Galilee sites hit by rocket attacks 18/07/06; Pope condemns Lebanon raids as G8 converges and Blair blames Iran and Syria 17/07/06; Christians call for end to Lebanon violence as Israel vows revenge 16/07/06; Middle East Christians in anguish over Lebanon violence 14/07/06; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace'; Christian warnings substantiated as Israel targets Hamas; Ex-spy wages peace on terror in the Middle East; UK church and aid agencies concerned over Gaza situation; Presbyterians threatened over Israel policy; The Forgotten Church [File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat]; Global faith gathering tackles religious roots of terror]

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