Friday, November 08, 2013

Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix - an agent of truth and peace


Mother Agnès-Mariam de la Croix, spokesperson for the Catholic Media Centre of the Diocese of Homs, Hama and Yabroud in Syria, is one of the main representatives of the 'Mussalaha' Reconciliation inter-faith Initiative, which has the support of all Syria’s religious communities. She has been a fearless and indefatigable proponent for Syria’s persecuted.

His Grace wrote about her a few months ago: she is the nun who exposed the egregious stage-management of public opinion when President Obama, David Cameron and François Hollande were trying to justify punitive action against President Assad and his forces for the alleged use of chemical weapons. More recently, she personally brokered a ceasefire between 'rebels' and Syrian troops in Moadamiya, and thereby helped save the lives of over 2000 civilians.

Mother Agnès-Mariam has been and is being relentlessly criticised for these acts by those who are support war and oppose peace. She is still besieged by lies, libels and slanders which foment further conflict and hinder peace and reconciliation in Syria.

And no wonder the Father of Lies is irked.

Mother Agnès-Mariam demolished the credibility of the videos of the Ghouta chemical gas story. Her evidence on the veracity of the rebels’ videos was used by the Russian government in its successful efforts to forestall the USA’s planned missile strikes on Damascus. The questions Mother Agnès-Mariam raised in that interview have still not been satisfactorily answered.

How many nuns brave snipers and bombs to broker a ceasefire?
    "Saturday, October 12 At 11 am Mother Agnes-Mariam and Sister Carmel went to Muadamiyet-al-Cham, on the outskirts of Damascus.. Twelve snipers were ensconced above the arcades that lead into the city. Mother Agnes-Mariam swept up a white flag and headed with determination, along with Sister Carmel, toward a group of about 40 leaders of the armed rebel bands that have been kidnapping thousands of ordinary people. Now these armed bands were also threatening.. to block off all food supplies. The ensuing confusion was indescribable, with shots being fired and shouts ringing out about how no one was to leave the place alive.

   "So Mother Agnes-Mariam tells Sister Carmel to pray and they begin to invoke the name of Jesus. Suddenly there is silence, and there is an opening for negotiations over the liberation of the hostages..."
There are accompanying photographs for this diary account: the BBC also recorded the peace-brokering (and there's a longer BBC Today interview, or a much fuller video link here).

Syria is a dangerous war zone: journalists who go there run the risk of death. Mother Agnès-Mariam is not 'pro-Assad', as some of them claim, but it's a handy slur to hurl at anyone who opposes the rebels’ excesses. She does not work for Assad and neither is she in cahoots with him: she simply labours for peace and reconciliation in Syria's killing fields. Allegations that she "meets daily with Ali Mamlouk, the head of Syria’s National Security Bureau, and Jamil Hasan, the head of Air Force Intelligence" are patently absurd. It is simply part of a conspiracy to discredit her, or even provoke her assassination.

And she is mocked as “Our Lady of Useful Idiocy”. Funny, isn't it, how the sympathies of some Western journalists appear to be with those who are wantonly slaughtering Christians and committing unspeakable war crimes. But the media bias is routinely with these 'rebels': the BBC gave a very easy interview to Abu Sakkar, Syria’s notorious heart-eating cannibal (yes, you read that right). Why is taxpayers' money giving a platform to such a monster?

Vladimir Putin made this very point to David Cameron at the 2013 G8 summit meeting on the day Prince George of Cambridge was born. Channel 4 enthused about their exclusive with an AK47-toting female jihadist from London who is helping to colonise Northern Syria under the flag of al-Nusra. This woman had looted and stolen, but her crimes went unchallenged during the interview.

And The Guardian deals reverently with Ali Almanasfi, who was killed in Syria fighting for al-Qaeda. Here, from Harding’s article, is some of this dead jihadist’s previous:
As a teenager, according to his friend Tam Hussein, Almanasfi drifted into trouble. He got involved in street fights with other Acton gangs and petty crime: drugs, stealing, booze. In 2008 his father sent him to Syria to cool down. Apparently this didn't work. A year later he did something he would bitterly regret: drunk, he attacked an older man. The details are hazy. But he was caught, sentenced to four or five years in jail, and initially imprisoned in Feltham young offenders institute.
Mary Fitzgerald, a foreign affairs editor with the Irish Times, spent time with jihadists in Libya and then followed the same group of fanatics to Syria. She praises them, martyr-like, despite their own criminal backgrounds in Ireland. In between praising the foreign jihadists currently laying waste to Syria, Ms Fitzgerald has made unsubstantiated allegations against Mother Agnès-Mariam via Twitter.

In one instance, on learning that BNP leader Nick Griffin was in Syria as part of an EU delegation, she insinuated that Mother Agnès-Mariam invited him - despite the nun being in Australia at the time and having never heard of Griffin or the BNP. Apparently, the beheading of Christians is a baseless claim: the nun is just a religious nutter. Mary Fitzgerald is of the view that Irish jihadists are not extremists of the al-Qaeda mold: they are true martyrs for a just cause. Unsurprisingly, she is a vocal supporter of the Irish-based Muslim Brotherhood extremists who were arrested in Cairo when the Morsi regime was toppled.

There is a lesson here: if you're a servant of the Lord intent on working for peace and reconciliation in a war zone, you can expect the forces of hell to be unleashed to smear, defame and kill your reputation, if not your life.

God bless you, Mother Agnès-Mariam. May the Lord guide and protect you, and give you peace.

36 Comments:

Blogger Gnostic said...

A true Christian and a very courageous lady. Let's hope that she doesn't become a true Christian martyr.

8 November 2013 at 08:39  
Blogger David B said...

She seems to be a truly remarkable woman, and one falsely vilified by those who seek their own agendas, or back one side in the disaster that the Syrian system has become.

It is hard to feel any sympathy with Assad and his followers, just as it was hard to feel sympathy for - just as an example - the Russians in Afghanistan - but that does not that their opponents will not be worse for the people of the region, or more dangerous for the stability of the region and the world as a whole.

One must feel for the ordinary people on the ground in the Syrian conflict and similar ones, of all religions or none. It is people like her who, at great personal risk, are doing their best to help them, and at the same time having some sort of commitment to truth that is generally lacking among the warring factions.

More power to her elbow.

David

8 November 2013 at 09:36  
Blogger Rhoslyn said...

How wonderful! She is doing God's work. Let's all promise to pray for her and all that she does for peace.

Our lady, Queen of peace, pray for us!

8 November 2013 at 10:14  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack thinks the world can be a horrible place and evil has to be faced. This lady and her friends are very brave for doing what they can to help others. Jack believes they do have a friend who is guiding and protecting them and will take care of them in this life and the next. Happy Jack will go to the big church and think about her and ask God to bring peace soon.

8 November 2013 at 10:46  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

A very brave and courageous woman.

We can't truly appreciate just what terror this conflict has brought to the ordinary Syrians, who want nothing more than to raise their children and live a peaceful existence.

Assad is a puppet in the shadow of his father's legacy - as such he will do as he is told by the real invisible muscle men. We much more aware of the complexities and nature of the factions and sects in the Middle East and should by now appreciate that sometimes even a dictatorship is a tolerable alternative to the outright indiscriminate violence and deep uncertainty that is currently taking place.

The conflict is now a sectarian religious war backed by easy access to arms and funds with atrocities being committed by all elements involved and I'd bet we don't know the half of what has/is going on.

How all, or any of these people claim to have 'God' on their side beyond my reasoning or expectations. I am yet to be convinced that this seemingly unresolvable situation exist if God, 'Saints' and 'Martyrs' were not part of the mix.'

8 November 2013 at 11:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Thank you Your Grace for telling us the story that the mainstream media ignore or worse, defame.

She is truly a brave and wise Christian lady, on the side of peace, who deserves the respect of the entire world.

Long may she, and her sisters, be protected physically and spiritually by the forces of light.

8 November 2013 at 11:58  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Two months on and with the benefit of hindsight, I think we can say that what really happened on 13 September was not just that Putin saved Damascus from the US Air Force. He achieved much more than that. He saved Obama from himself and at the same time saved the West from Obama. And he couldn't have done any of those things if he hadn't been prompted by Mother Agnes.

8 November 2013 at 12:21  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian,

How true !

He has done much good, possibly for self interest, but then who amongst us is that pure; perhaps only people of the ilk of Mother Agnes-Miriam ? It is truly wonderful that Putin was prompted by her. Who amongst our strutting, "enlightened" leaders would have the humility and wisdom to listen to a nun, I ask.

Whilst in Russia I gained the impression that people consider Putin's strong support for The Orthodox Church was more about a cynical, politically motivated support of the Church as an embodiment of Russia, an expression of nationalism, rather than a genuine attachment to Christianity.
I can not judge. The crucifix that he has worn around his neck since young, when his grandmother insisted that the gift should be worn at all times, appears some of the time as a visible symbol of something, I know not of what.

However his actions certainly speak of greater wisdom and understanding of the true nature of the conflict than any "understanding" displayed by the so called leaders of the West, Obama, Cameron and that French Socialist Hollande. The west with its "liberals", so called, has not covered itself in glory in all this, a most unstable Arab conflict zone.
I see that the fighting continues in Libya, which we "liberated" from their dictator.

8 November 2013 at 12:52  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David Hussell

Who amongst our strutting, "enlightened" leaders would have the humility and wisdom to listen to a nun, I ask.

David, I think Tony Blair answered that question, or some spokesman answered it on Blair's behalf: our dear leaders "don't do God." So much the worse for them.

I didn't know about Comrade Vladimir's crucifix. He could get into trouble for that at Heathrow Airport.

8 November 2013 at 13:16  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

So much the worse for them ... and for us, I ought to have added.

8 November 2013 at 13:18  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention YG.

A brave, noble woman. May the Lord protect her.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Now, when exactly can we expect William Hague to resign?

8 November 2013 at 13:25  
Blogger David Hussell said...

IanCad,

Indeed, and that foolish Cameron, with his oh so flawed judgement ?

Presumably, referring back to Uncle Brian at 13.16, when they decided to, "don't do God", they also decided to stop doing the honourable thing and resigning after being saved from murdering the innocent by Putin, a man they consider "illiberal" and a general "baddie".

It is almost as if the formerly God-hating East, Russia, and their sworn enemy, the formerly God honouring, free West, have swopped places. Now we have the recently God denying "liberal" West, at top political levels reviling the East, Russia, which has found its way back to, at official levels, respecting Christianity. That's a gross simplification of course but I feel that there's some sort of rough, reverse symmetry at work there.

8 November 2013 at 14:23  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David Hussell

Reading your last paragraph there, it struck me that this year's Syrian chemical weapons crisis was, in a way, a rerun of the Cuban missiles crisis half a century ago.

-- With Bashar Asad in the role of Fidel Castro, of course; Obama as Khrushchev; and Putin as Kennedy.

I remember saying at the time that Khrushchev had made two mistakes. The first mistake was to deploy Soviet missiles in Cuba, and the second mistake was to take them away again. A year later, of course, Khrushchev lost his job. You can't have leaders committing blunders like that, not, at least, in a one-party state.

This year, it now looks as though Obama committed what amount to the same two mistakes. His first mistake was to threaten to bomb Damascus and his second mistake was to back down.

Perhaps I should explain that I am using the word "mistake" in the sense of a miscalculation or blunder, without wishing to attribute any moral value to it.
I don't mean that Khrushchev in 1963 or Obama in 2013 behaved unethically or committed a sin. Just a tactical error, in the sense of a goalie diving to the wrong side in a penalty shoot-out.

Or as some nineteenth-century foreign minister (Metternich? Talleyrand?) is supposed to have said, "It was worse than a crime, it was a mistake."

8 November 2013 at 14:53  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

I mean 1962, of course, not 1963. My mistake.

8 November 2013 at 15:13  
Blogger Nick said...

I remember reading a article on the Biased Broadcasting Corporation about Mother Agnes Mariam. They used the comments of somebody from Human Rights Watch to counter her claims about the videos.

The truth is that while the human rights activists sit around reading the Guardian, this woman is risking her life on a daily basis to protect civilians.

Shame on all her twisted critics. They are truly disgusting

8 November 2013 at 17:34  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian,

Yes, I follow your reasoning, and the assignment of "roles" , vis a vis earlier roles, and the characters in them then. It's clearly comparable.

I suggest that you employ the word "mistake" in the sense of ( it's difficult to select the precise words, I doubt whether they exist) a political action that is politically, "technically" undesirable, that is in the technical and tactical sense of a class of such decisions that lead to a perceived global drop in power, support and political status? America was belittled by the foolish Obama, and his allies, and the canny Putin's mastery of the situation. Another example is, aside from the moral arguments, Cameron's decision to redefine marriage, which was a "mistake" in that it has alienated many of his natural supporters and gained few new ones.

8 November 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger bluedog said...

David Hussell @ 17.42 says, 'Cameron's decision to redefine marriage, which was a "mistake" in that it has alienated many of his natural supporters and gained few new ones.'

Indeed, and fortunately the Conservative Party has become a hollow shell as a result, almost certainly unable to manage a General Election at polling station level. We have discussed this before.

A good post Your Grace and it is wonderful to see that Mother Agnes Miriam is able to continue with her good work. As for British citizens who become jihadis in Syria and elsewhere, their right of return should be revoked. The last thing the UK needs is a cadre of trained and practiced Islamist killers running around looking for opportunities domestically to demonstrate their skills.

8 November 2013 at 19:48  
Blogger Mussalaha Reconciliation said...

"The last thing the UK needs is a cadre of trained and practiced Islamist killers running around looking for opportunities domestically to demonstrate their skills"

It appears from the article His Grace wrote, that Mary Fitzgerald and many others do not share your view on this. In today's Catholic papers, there are reports of more rebel atrocities in Sadad, where they threw old and diabled people down a well after torturing them. Perhaps Mary Fitzgerald's moderate Irish and British rebels stood to one side as their comrades in arms did their dirty work?

8 November 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


A fellow recalls some advice. How do you become a successful journalist. The answer, astonishingly simple – make a nuisance of yourself. Make people angry with what you write. Show black to be white and vice versa. Your editor will love you, for people will buy the publication to see what you’ve done to upset them next. People are like that with reading matter. They NEED to be aroused, for good or bad. And bad is so much easier, isn’t it…

One is of course musing, and points out vociferously that this modus operandi should in no way be associated with the fine journalistic names which appeared in the article. Heavens, no !





8 November 2013 at 21:35  
Blogger Gnostic said...

People are like that with reading matter. They NEED to be aroused, for good or bad. And bad is so much easier, isn’t it…

An interesting theory OIG. Unfortunately the falling newspaper circulation numbers indicate that the need for arousal isn't enough anymore. One hopes it's becoming superseded by the need for honest, unbiased news rather than apathy.

9 November 2013 at 08:10  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mussalaha @ 20.01 said, 'Perhaps Mary Fitzgerald's moderate Irish and British rebels stood to one side as their comrades in arms did their dirty work?'

Possibly, but anything is possible in a conflict where the combatants seem seized of unlimited depravity. Logic suggests that the worst atrocities are committed by foreign jihadis; they don't have to eat their own cooking, so to speak. There is a certain irony in a situation where the Syrians, who were instrumental in the destruction of Lebanon, are now victims of the same sectarian forces that they themselves unleashed.

9 November 2013 at 09:24  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

bluedog

There is a certain irony in a situation where the Syrians, who were instrumental in the destruction of Lebanon, are now victims of the same sectarian forces that they themselves unleashed.

And wasn't it the US government of the day (Reagan, I think) that first had the bright idea of creating the Taliban, to combat the Soviet regime in Afghanistan?

9 November 2013 at 10:51  
Blogger Frater minor said...

Or as Hosea said it so many years ago:

For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads;
it shall yield no flour;
if it were to yield, strangers would devour it.
Hosea 8:7



Frater minor

9 November 2013 at 11:54  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 November 2013 at 13:36  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

1000 years ago we would be ashamed of her courage and our cowardice.

It is as Dreadnaught implied above.

Battles for right and wrong are ultimately fought be people of faith.

Those worshiping the god of Self just want peace at any price so that they can get on with "enjoying themselves" certainly not risk their lives for others. Just think about what Cameron and Obama was willing to propose. Bomb them by all means, it is low risk, they cannot fight back and we might buy off/ ingratiate the Muslim radicals for a few more years so that we can continue to live the "good life"

Phil

9 November 2013 at 13:38  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Phil Roberts

we might buy off/ ingratiate the Muslim radicals for a few more years so that we can continue to live the "good life"

Certainly Obama is a poor goof and Dave is almost as bad, but is either of them actually goofy enough to believe that ingratiating the jihadists/cannibals/saracens/ayatollahs/al qaida/hamas/hizbollah/muslim brotherhood/whatever will gain them some sort of recognition or even toleration? Remember the founder of Hamas, Sheik Yassin, the vile old fascist thug in the wheelchair? Where did he get his wheelchair from? Who looked after him in hospital when he needed it? The Israelis, that's who. A fat lot of good it did them.

9 November 2013 at 14:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9 November 2013 at 15:17  
Blogger Len said...

I take my hat off to this very courageous lady who had the courage and the determination to walk through a battlefield to save lives.May the Lord guide and protect you, and give you peace.

I also cannot but help to notice that this lady invoked the name of 'Jesus'the Saviour and not Mary His Mother.
When we are in desperate need of help, of protection,it is the name of the Saviour which should be on our lips.Jesus is the Name above all Names.


10 November 2013 at 10:30  
Blogger Gladiatrix said...

What this article does not point out is that allegations have been made not just by journalists, who may have their own axes to grind, but by other Christians in Syria and at least one Christian clergyman.

It seems to me that this allegations should be investigated rather than brushed off as defamatory.

10 November 2013 at 16:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One humbly apologies for his post that was necessarily removed.

{AHEM}

10 November 2013 at 16:26  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Inspector General

I'd been wondering about that ... I never saw the comment itself, only the mod sign hung up in its place. But I can guess it wasn't a death threat on behalf of the poor slandered jihadists.

10 November 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Brian, a rather ‘robust’ comment about the president of Syria. It did not reach the standard required of this site.

Others beware !

10 November 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger Mussalaha Reconciliation said...

Gladiatrix said...What this article does not point out is that allegations have been made not just by journalists, who may have their own axes to grind, but by other Christians in Syria and at least one Christian clergyman. It seems to me that this allegations should be investigated rather than brushed off as defamatory.

The allegations were investigated and the Christian clergyman you speak of, Fr Paolo, was asked to leave Syria by the Catholic hierarchy and he was disowned by the Jesuits. He was subsequently kidnapped and murderd by the rebels, who cause he espoused.
His Grace's articles did give several links to work by her critics who, if the links are typical, are in need of some serious medical help.

10 November 2013 at 19:21  
Blogger brian said...

thanks good article on Mother Agnes, but those commentators who stil smear President Assad need to unzip themselves from the demonising MSM and listen to the syrian people:
the mass of syians support president Assad, the govt and the SAA
www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4jZsFhjaNc‎

20 November 2013 at 11:35  
Blogger brian said...

FYI on christians in syria..these overwhelmingly support president Assad: they know that the FSA and alnusra want to wipe them off the face of a syria that would be an islamic caliphate

20 November 2013 at 11:38  
Blogger Unknown said...

A true Prophet of out time.. let her work bear fruits.. my prayers..!

21 November 2013 at 05:31  

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