PRESS RELEASE: Franciscans Grief-Stricken and Angry Over Continued Violence in Syria

For Immediate Release
April 7, 2017
Contact: Janine Walsh
FAN Communications Coordinator
(203) 685-1856 (cell)

Franciscans Grief-Stricken and Angry Over Continued Violence in Syria

Recent Chemical Attacks and Airstrikes Show that the U.S. must do more by taking in Syrian Refugees 

Washington, D.C.--The Franciscan Action Network is grief-stricken and angry over the recent chemical attacks believed to have been carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and President Trump's launch of 59 tomahawk missiles in response. The Syrian Civil War has been raging since 2011, and while no one has shown great leadership during the crisis, it is clear that the United States can do something now for Syrian people: stop issuing executive orders against Muslims, which only serve to fan the flames of Islamophobia, and allow for Syrian refugees, especially children, to enter the United States by expanding the refugee resettlement program. If President Trump is serious about protecting these "children of God" he would take these steps immediately.

"One of the most famous things St. Francis is known for is his prayer for peace," said Franciscan Action Network executive director Patrick Carolan. "Pope Francis has often invoked his namesake and has gone so far as to say that a piecemeal WWIII is currently being fought between weapons manufacturers. The only people that benefit from ongoing war in Syria are the shareholders that own stock in companies that profit from death and destruction."

Many in the faith community have spoken out in response to this devastating humanitarian crisis, including Franciscan friars in Assisi, who decry the attack and say: "The international community has the duty to stop the violence. It is the duty of all of us."

Caritas Italy and Pax Christi, International are calling for a day of fasting and prayer for Syria on Wednesday April 12th. We urge all to take part as we lift up our prayers and our hearts to those who have lost their lives and those who continue to suffer.

We must find a better way forward. For far too long, the major world powers - including the United States - have ignored the crisis in Syria. Launching missiles will only bring more violence: a diplomatic solution must be found by bringing all sides to the table. In the meantime, the United States must step up as a true world leader by allowing Syrian refugees, expanding the refugee resettlement program, and stopping the perpetuation of xenophobia and racism.


Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights. For more information: