Syria through Italian eyes II: Trappist nuns speak about Ghouta!

You have to call things by their name. And you can not confuse those who attack with those who defend themselves.


Enrico Vigna for SOS Syria / CIVG

Dear friends, we send you the letter of Trappist Nuns in Syria, foundation of the Valserena Italian Monastery: it seems to us a precious help above all to understand the position of the Syrian Church especially in view of the global media campaign that attacks both military operations for the liberation of the Ghouta and the judgments expressed in recent days by the religious of Damascus and all the Syrian religious in unanimous judgment, a judgment unfortunately not collected and perhaps not understood also by the Catholic press.

Thank you for your attention and sharing.

When will the weapons go silent? And when all the partisan journalism go silent?

We who live in Syria, we are really tired, nauseated by this general indignation that rises like an orchestra baton to condemn those who defend their lives and their land.

We went to Damascus several times in these months; we went after the rebel bombs had made a massacred of a school, we were there a few days ago, the day after they had rained 90 missiles from Goutha, onto the governmental part of the city. We listened to the stories of the children, the fear of leaving home and going to school, the terror of having to see their classmates still jumping in the air, or jumping themselves, children who can not sleep at night, for fear that a missile hits their roof. Fear, tears, blood, death. Are not these children also worthy of our attention?

Why has the public not batted an eyelid? Because no one was indignant, because no humanitarian or other appeals were launched for these innocent people? And why only when the Syrian government intervenes, arousing gratitude in Syrian citizens who feel defended from so much horror (as we have seen and tell), are people indignant about the ferocity of the war?

Of course, even when the Syrian army bombs there are women, children, civilians, wounded or dead. And we pray for them too. Not only the civilians: we also pray for the jihadists, because every man who chooses evil is a lost child, is a mystery hidden in the heart of God. And it is to God that we must leave judgment, He who does not want the death of sinner, but to be converted and alive.

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But this does not mean that you do not have to call things by their name. And you can not confuse those who attack with those who defend themselves.

In Damascus, it is from the Goutha area that attacks on civilians living in the government-controlled part have begun, and not vice versa. The same Goutha where – must we remember it? – civilians who did not support the jihadists were put in iron cages: men, women, exposed outdoors and used as human shields. Goutha: the district where today the civilians who want to escape and take refuge in the government, taking advantage of the granted truce, are shot at by rebel snipers …

Why this blindness of the West? How is it possible for those who inform, even in the ecclesial context, to be so one-sided?

The war is bad, oh yes, yes if it’s bad! Do not come and tell the Syrians, who for seven years have seen it brought home … But you can not be scandalized by the brutality of war and keep quiet about who wanted the war and still wants it today, on the governments that have been pouring their increasingly powerful weapons, their intelligence into Syria in these years… not to mention the mercenaries deliberately left to enter Syria by making them move from neighboring countries (many who later became Isis, — the West has to be reminded at least, what this abbreviation means). Keep quiet about the governments that have gained and gained from this war. Just look what happened to the most important Syrian oil wells. But this is just a detail, there is much more of importance at stake.

The war is bad. But we have not yet reached the goal, where the wolf and the lamb will dwell together, and for those who believe, we must remember that the Church does not condemn the legitimate defense; and even if it certainly does not wish recourse to arms and war, faith does not condemn those who defend their country, their family, even their own lives. You can choose non-violence, until you die. But it is a personal choice, which can only bring into play the life of those who choose it, we can not certainly ask a whole nation, an entire people.

No man who has a minimum of true humanity can wish war. But today to say to Syria, to the Syrian government, not to defend its nation is against all justice: too often it is only a way to facilitate the task of those who want to plunder the country, make a massacre of its people, as happened in these long years in which the truces have been used above all to re-arm the rebels, and the humanitarian corridors to bring in new weapons and new mercenaries … and how can we forget what atrocities have happened in recent years in the areas controlled by the jihadists? Violence, summary executions, rapes … the stories released by those who eventually succeeded in escaping?

Source CIVG
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