Jesuit leader condemns possibility of Syrian intervention

Prayers for peace at Masses over weekend in response to Pope Francis appeal

Cardinal Seán Brady  said that violence in Syria  “offers no hope for the future”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Cardinal Seán Brady said that violence in Syria “offers no hope for the future”. Photograph: Eric Luke


Jesuit superior general Fr Adolfo Nicolás has strongly condemned possible military intervention in Syria by the US or France. Interviewed on the Jesuits’ website, he said: “I cannot understand who gave the United States or France the right to act against a country in a way that will certainly increase the suffering of the citizens of that country.”

He added: “We, Jesuits, support 100 per cent the Holy Fatherand wish with all our hearts that the threatened attack on Syria does not take place.” He said “with all respect for the people of the United States, I think that a military intervention like the one being planned is itself an abuse of power”.

‘Statement of conviction’
If chemical weapons had been used in Syria, he said, “we still have to probe in a way that is clear to the whole world that one party in the conflict and not the other has used them. It is not enough that some members of the punishing government make a statement of conviction.”

He added: “That two such countries would come together for such an outrageous measure is part of the world´s anger. ”

He found it “extremely upsetting that a country that considers itself at least nominally Christian could not imagine other ways of acting that would not be military, and instead contribute to bring humanity back to the law of the jungle”.

Cardinal Seán Brady has appealed to the Irish people to remember the suffering of Syrian children and their families at Masses this weekend. Violence there “offers no hope for the future”, he said.

Bishop Eamonn Walsh will lead prayers at 6pm Mass in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral to coincide with Pope Francis’s gathering for peace in St Peter’s Square in Rome.