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Archdiocese Joins Cardinal Dolan at Mass for Kidnapped Syrian Bishops

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May 2, 2013

NEW YORK – Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, held a special mass today, May 2, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the safety and well-being of Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo His Eminence Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, His Eminence John Ibrahim who were recently kidnapped in Syria.

Cardinal Dolan invited leaders from the Orthodox community and other Catholic leaders to join him in praying for the speedy return of the two kidnapped prelates.  His Grace Bishop Sevastianos of Zela represented Archbishop Demetrios of America, accompanied by Ecumenical Officer Father Mark Arey. His Eminence, Archbishop Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim and Reverend Eli Shabo represented the Syriac Orthodox Church and Archpriest John Jillions represented the OCA.

Other Catholic leaders  who participated were Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre; Bishop Gregory Mansour, Maronite Eparchy, and Monsignor John Kozar, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Fatima Shama, Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, represented the Mayor’s Office.

Following the service, Cardinal Dolan hosted all the clergy in his residence for a robust discussion of the situation and ways the various Christian Churches can work together for the release of the Hierarchs and the amelioration of the circumstances of all Christians in the Middle East.

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