On Thursday 18 July 2013 the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, resident in Damascus, visited the monastery of St. Florian in Austria. Laham came to collect financial assistance from the Saint Lazarus Order for building a hospital in Syria. “Armament and military force cannot bring peace. They only leave losers on both sides in their wake, “warned the patriarch in his sermon. Together with the Linz Diocesan Bishop Ludwig Schwarz and Provost John Holzinger, Gregorios concelebrated a special service in the monastery.
The Patriarch referred mainly to the situation of Christians in Syria and called for solidarity. In the Middle East today there was at times very intense persecution of Christians, he lamented. But conflicts can only be resolved in mutual dialogue and discussion, Gregorios emphasized, in the presence of numerous spiritual representatives of the monastic community and the Diocese of Linz. At the same time, the Patriarch, during his visit to Upper Austria, urged the faithful, especially now “during this difficult time,” to pray for peace in Syria and throughout the Middle East.
Source: Vatican Radio (German edition) Translation V.C.