Abbot Stan and the Brothers today sent a letter to elected officials pleading with them not to utilize military strikes in Syria. Below is a copy of that letter. In addition, to be in solidarity with Pope Francis’ call for a prayer vigil, on Saturday, Sept. 7, the Mepkin community will offer special prayers, including community prayer in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, for a peaceful resolution to the conflicts in Syria and the Middle East.
The letter below was sent September 6, 2013:
President Barack Obama
Senator Lindsey Graham, R, SC
Senator Tim Scott, R, SC
Representative James Clyburn, D, SC
Representative Mark Sanford, R, SC
Dear President Obama and Distinguished Leaders of South Carolina:
Please, Please, Please, no military strikes in Syria. Let us use our leadership responsibilities in the world to act in solidarity with the international community to bring about dialogue and human negotiations to resolve this conflict. In the words of Pope Francis of Rome: “I repeat forcefully: it is neither a culture of confrontation nor a culture of conflict which builds harmony within and between peoples, but rather a culture of encounter and a culture of dialogue; this is the only way to peace.”
We, the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, are praying and fasting in solidarity with Pope Francis of Rome, with Ahmad Badreddin Hassou, the Great Mufti of Syria, other Muslim groups, tribal communities, the Druzes, the Ismaelites, other components of Syrian society and with all religious leaders of good will in our world. We do this with the intention to avoid further bloodshed and sorrow to the people of Syria: Muslim, Christian, and other faiths.
The international community CAN bring about dialogue and negotiation to resolve this conflict. We MUST do this in the name of all the Syrian people and indeed in the name of humanity itself.
Abbot Stan and the Trappist Monks of Mepkin Abbey