(Tuesday, 23/4/2013 22:00) Since early in the morning His Holiness Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas has been receiving telephone calls from a large number of politicians and diplomats in Lebanon, foremost among them Prime Minister-delegate Tammam Salam, in addition to the leaders and representatives of parties and political blocs in Lebanon. All of them expressed their condemnation of the kidnapping of the Metropolitans Youhnna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, affirming that they will spare no effort to secure the bishops' freedom.
One of the most important telephone conversations was that between His Holiness Patriarch [Iwas] and His Beautitude Patriarch John X Yazigi, in which both expressed regret and condemnation, and prayer for the liberation of the two bishops and of all captives and for security and peace in the country. They released a joint communique about this.
From among spiritual leaders, His Holiness also received telephone calls from His Beautitude Ignatius Yousuf III Younan, the Syriac Catholic patriarch; Metropolitan Roland Abou Jawdeh, the representative of the Maronite Patriarch His Beaitutide Bechara Butros Rai; the papal nuncio in Damasus; as well as a call from His Beatitude Maphrian Mar Basilius Thomas I, Maphrian of India; and others from the bishops of the Holy Synod and priests of the Church.
His Holiness expressed his heartfelt thanks for the prayer offered by His Holiness Pope Francis I in his prayer today for the bishops' freedom, as well as for the kind letter that came to the patriarchal office from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby as well as the official communique from the Ministry of Religious Endowments of the Syrian Arab Republic.
His Holiness called the Syriac bishops in Lebanon for an emergency meeting in the women's Monastery of Mar Jacob Baradaeus in Atchane, Lebanon, where the following were present: Mar Iustinus Boulos, the patriarchal vicar in Zahleh and the Bekaa; Mar Clement Daniel Kouriya, Metropolitan of Beirut; Mar Chrysostomus Mikhail Shimoun, director of patriarchal institutions in Atchane; Mar Timotheus Matta Khoury, patriarchal secretary; His Holiness reviewed with their emminences all the efforts that the Church and her children are expending in th country and in the diaspora in order to secure the freedom and well-being of Metropolitnans Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi.
Finally, we confirms that the patriarchate has not officially received any information about the release of the bishops up to this moment.