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Hello to all!

I recently interviewed His Beatitude Ignatius Joseph III, who was in Portugal for a pilgrimage to Fátima.

His Beatitude doesn't beat around the bush, so the interview was very interesting. He speaks frankly about the situation in Syria, blaming the West and lauding Russian intervention; defends the creation of a safe zone for Christians and other minorities in Iraq; defends the existance of armed protection groups for Christians (avoiding the term Militia); and expresses his closeness to the Armenians, thanking Pope Francis for his recent trip to the country.

Right at the end the Patriarch also says that Rome's respect for Patriarchal authority still has room for improvement.

I am happy to share with you the full transcript, in the original English.

Full transcript of interview with Syriac Catholic Patriarch [actualidadereligiosa.blogspot.pt]

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defends the creation of a safe zone for Christians and other minorities in Iraq

Christ is in our midst!!

Who will enforce this "safe zone" against ISIS or any other majority Muslim group/government?

If history is any guide, I suspect that the Muslim mindset since the Iraq invasion by the U.S. is that the natives are a fifth column to be eliminated. Under the Ottoman Empire, the minorities were dhimmis and kept in their place by draconian rules of life. Then after WW1 secular dictators and secular governments allowed some measure of normality for them. But that has all broken down with the Arab Spring that has allowed for ISIS and Saudi and Iranian governments to resurrect the Islam that prevailed until 1918. And it has come at the minorities with a vengeance. I don't believe that there will ever again be a safe place for these poor people in that region again.

Bob


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