Friday, April 11, 2014


From an interview given in early February with Father Frans van der Lugt, the Superior of a monastery in the old city of Homs and a 75-year-old Dutch priest who had lived in Syria for decades, ministered to both Christians and Muslims, and was shot to death by a lone gunman on April 6, 2014.

Courtesy of Jesuit Refugee Service:

"The entirety of the Syrian crisis needs to be taken into account by world leaders to end the conflict that has killed more than 130,000 people and displaced seven million.

According to Fr Frans, what is really missing from leaders is a human understanding of those still living inside the country.

'They talk and meet in restaurants and hotels, but what we are living here is very different. They speak to us, but they don't live with us. They talk about us, but out of their own interest.'

The problem in Homs, he says, is not just about shortages of food and medicine, but also 'a hunger to lead a normal life.'

'The human being is not just a stomach, but also a heart and wants to see his relatives,' Fr Frans concludes."

From an April 4, 2014 NYT article on Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, who recently rampaged through Ft. Hood, killing three and injuring sixteen before turning the gun on himself:

"His [FB] posts in November showed him struggling with the death of his mother, Carmen Lopez, a nurse in Guayanilla [Puerto Rico] who died that month, and grappling with problems with the Army at the time of his mother’s death.

'In shock. Mom died today,' he wrote on Nov. 15. 'Thanks for your condolences. I couldn’t answer your calls,' he wrote, blaming Army bureaucracy, which he described with a vulgarity.

One law enforcement official said Specialist Lopez had told others that he should have received more time off after his mother’s death. It was apparently a source of anger for him, the official said. 'He felt like he wasn’t being treated fairly,' the official said. 'He wasn’t getting what he felt he should have been entitled to.'”



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