Pope decries slaughter of ‘defenseless’ Syrians


Pope Benedict XVI AFP

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has wished Christmas peace to the world, decrying the slaughter of the “defenseless” in Syria and urging Israelis and Palestinians to find the courage to negotiate.

Delivering the Vatican’s traditional Christmas day message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, a weary-looking and hoarse-sounding Benedict on Tuesday also encouraged Arab spring nations, especially Egypt, to build just and respectful societies.

He says Egypt was the land “blessed by the childhood of Jesus.”

He also prayed that China’s new leaders respect religion, a reference to persecution Chinese Roman Catholics have at times endured under communism.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • wawa2172

    The slaughter of men and women in Syria is a result of civil war going on in that troubled country. Men and women are dying and worse they are killing its other, Syrian vs Syrian. Bomb of mass destruction are fired by the protagonist and the collateral damage are the innocent victims of greed and power. Egypt, Palestine and Syria are among the troubled countries whose leaders are among the worse in the world. Egypt recently freed its country from Mubarak but is replaced by a fanatic Muslim whose fraternity, the Muslim Brotherhood, drafted a constitution that could place the country in more difficult situation. The constitution drafted is sectarian in nature, to tight with the government controlled only by few and does not adhere to democratic principles. When will the killing stop, it will never and ever. It will be fanatics against fanatics, same religion, same citizenship, so on and so forth. Want to live in a country whose religion is not for peace but war.

    • Julio7


      You try to fit every action of Muslims and blame it on Islam. You find a few Muslims engaged in violence, you would find its roots in the religion. Wouldn’t you also find a few Christians or Jews involved in violence, blame their religion for that?

      Compare this with the brutal track record of warfare in the Western world over the centuries, Islam had never claimed for any killing. From the crusades against the Muslims to the days of colonial warfare, the Western world has killed, destroyed and plundered million people on earth but had we blame it to Christianity, yet most of you claimed to be the peaceful religion?

      In the US, some 400 people die every week in gun violence. Yet no one in the media blames Christianity for that. While the fact is that those who support gun lobby in the US are primarily right wing Christians and Zionists. When innocent kids massacred in Connecticut, we don’t blame to the Adam Lanza’s religion. We don’t blame to Ander Breivik’s religion for killing 77 innocent young Norwegians. We don’t blame Timothy McVeigh’s religion for killing 158 people by bombing US federal office in Oklahoma. We don’t blame white supremacist Wade Michael Page’s religion for killing people in Sikh temple in Wisconsin or even blame on religion of James Holmes, who massacre 12 people and injured 58 in a cinema in Aurora, Colorado.

      Time has often proven that bigoted assumption to Islam was immense. We should not blame Islam for the violence of Muslim.

      • wawa2172

        Ignorant? No brother I live in a Muslim dominated region of Mindanao. If you digest my post properly, I did not mention any religion except that of Islam because other religion are not part of the issue. Its Syrian against Syrian and I included Egypt and Palestine because they are on the same radar, at war with their own kind. I am not ignorant of Muslim culture and I guess I have experience more “rido” than you are here in Lanao. I am specifically talking about Muslim brothers so nobody would be confused. You mentioned other religion in your post I don’t care about them, what I am pointing here is that brother should not hurt their own brother. The bomb that killed many young Syrians came from Syrian jet fighters. You think that the fall of Syrian government will bring peace to the beleaguered country. No, because Syrian don’t trust fellow Syrian. No talking about Christian, Buddhist, Athiest, etc. Its muslim brother against own. If you don’t get my point brother, then peace be with you, and I rest my case.

      • Julio7

        Wawa, my apology if my response seems doesn’t sneer with what you mean. I completely agree with what you observe in the Muslim world however your last sentence got my attention which apparently leads to the conclusion that Islam is not a religion of peace but war. To say that is a complete misunderstanding of the religion of Islam. 

        The truth is that Islam is a peaceful religion, and peace is an essential precondition for ‘submission’ to the ‘will of God’. Muslims like any other people, believe in equality, fairness, freedom, justice and humanity.

        The war in Syria is very poignant to every Muslim, where thousand innocent lives killed due to Assad authoritarian government. The Muslim world is asking for help to fuse the situation in Syria, however even the UN is inutile to raise the call to stop the fighting. When Muslim kill Muslim, US is silence including the world community. Why? In Mali, the UN Security Council is quick to response because the fight is about Al-Qaeda. We are following the double standard policy. We raised our finger to Iran but we don’t care in Syria. We don’t even bat our eyes on North Korea and silence on China’s human right abuse on Tibet. We don’t care about Buddhist killing Muslim Rohingya in Burma. Where is our conscience?

        It is sad that Muslim like Assad, Mubarak, Khadafi, Ahmadinejad, King Abdullah of Jordan, Haniya of Gaza, Morsy of Egypt or even Muslim leader in Mindanao like Sakur Tan, Dimaporo, Ampatuan, Akbar, Candao, Sinsuat and others came to lead and commit blunder to fellow Muslim. Islam had no fault where Muslim commit mistake. They are responsible for themselves. Muslims are human being too like the Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Jew.

        I sincerely appreciate your concerned in Syria. Indeed, Assad is committing genocide in a clear daylight in front of our open and wide eyes. We must stand to stop this killing.

      • wawa2172

         Your post is perfectly written, I failed to quote the son of Hamas leader, it was he who said that “Islam is a religion of war and not peace”. Well, I guess the stigma of 9/11 was tip of hatred of some to Islam because terrorist made use of religion to advance their cause. Somehow, what is happening is Syria is so sad and that it happened in Libya and Iraq too. I hope that such bloodshed should stop, people killing each other and they are praising Allah that it happened. Allan I am sure won’t tolerate such and his heart is bleeding that his people are killing each other. Ive been to Indonesia and the Muslims in Jakarta are like ordinary people here in Manila. Most of my Indonesian friends treat me as person like them not minding of my religion. They even made a joke that I am a muslim because I do not eat pork. Jaha Putri, a company engineer even offered me his office if its already time for me to pray. Nonetheless, the killings in troubled country should be stop, for all peaceful purposes

      • Julio7

        It’s good to know you well. Muslim and Christian are brother to each other and should have to understand and extend the tolerance between each other. I admire the Muslim of Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore which are so peaceful and live in harmony with diffrent culture. They should be the example and role model in the Muslim world rather than the Arabs.

        But anyway, the Arabs are now changing. The wind is blowing as the Arab Spring is continuing to emulate on the younger Arabs. Sad to say, it is inevitable to shed blood for the sake of true democracy and combating tyranny.

      • dxdaistar

         the name Julio must be changed to an Islamic name.

      • Julio7

        Thanks but it is not the name that matters. It’s principle and belief in the universal justice for all human being.

        Call me whatever you want to call me, but my name is Julio.

        Take care and happy holiday…

      • dxdaistar

        Merry Christmas Julio!

  • Horst Manure

    Just another stupid war over religion, while we have religion we will never have peace.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos