The Pope Calls for ‘Muslim-Christian’ Dialogue to Free ISIS Hostages

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SHAFAQNA - Last Sunday, Pope Francis called for the release of Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim (the Syriac Orthodox archbishop of Aleppo), Boulos Yazigi (the Greek Orthodox bishop of Aleppo), and Italian Jesuit priest Paolo Dall’Oglio, who — if they are still alive — have all been held captive for two years now by Islamic jihadists in Syria. The Pope said: “I hope for a renewed commitment by the competent local and international authorities, so that these, our brothers, will soon be restored to freedom.”

Pope Francis has said that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Quran are opposed to every form of violence,” and he has assiduously called for “dialogue” and denounced violence in virtually every situation.

Robert McManus, the bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts, two years ago (ironically not long before Ibrahim, Yazigi, and Dall’Oglio were abducted) summed up the prevailing view of the U.S. Catholic bishops: “Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that we Catholics have attained in our inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims.”

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