It should be noted that Bishop Lukas has repeatedly stated that these words were not his.
(CWN) - A Greek Orthodox bishop’s exhortation to Syrian Christians to take up arms is “insane” and “reckless,” a Syrian Catholic prelate told the Fides news agency.
Bishop Lukas El Khoury, an auxiliary bishop of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, had said that “every young Christian in a position to do so should take up arms to protect Syria, churches, and convents,” Fides reported. “We cannot remain with arms folded.”
“As men of the Church, we cannot incite Christians to take up arms and to take part in the conflict,” Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo, the Syrian Catholic archbishop of Hassaké-Nisibi, said in response. “We cannot say these things, it is insane. It goes against the Gospel and the Christian doctrine … Reckless statements put Christians in danger of becoming targets of violence.”
In “the situation in which we find ourselves, every individual, even Christian, is free to make his own choices according to conscience,” Archbishop Hindo added. “Last year the government had offered me 700 Kalashnikovs to be distributed among the Christians of Hassaké, and a thousand for those of Qamishli, and I refused. We are against violence, from whatever side it comes.”