Priest Deported from Syria to Speak in Arlington

by Katie Pyzyk July 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,669 23 Comments

A priest who was recently expelled from Syria for criticizing that country’s violence against its people will be speaking in Arlington next week.

Father Paolo Dall’Oglio is an Italian Jesuit priest who had lived in Syria for 30 years, but was deported last month. He was reportedly targeted because he spoke out against the Syrian government’s crackdown on the widespread public uprising.

“The very fact that I am for change, for democracy, for human rights and dignity, this is very provocative,” said Father Paolo after his expulsion was ordered.

While living in Syria, Father Paolo had helped to restore the 1,000 year old Mar Musa Monastery and to establish it as a center for interfaith dialog and Muslim-Christian understanding.

Father Paolo will speak at Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ (5010 Little Falls Road) on Monday, July 23, at 7:00 p.m. He will highlight his experiences while living in Syria, current conditions in that country and the circumstances surrounding his deportation. Everyone is welcome to attend.

  • drax

    I don’t always speak out for human rights and democracy in Syria, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.

    • Vincent Verweij

      So many +1s.

      Also, the title makes it seem like he was deported for the sole reason of speaking in Arlington. I know we’re a “world-class” county, but that’s a little much.

    • sunflower

      ha! you made me work for that one. so hard to keep up….

  • The Dope of South Arlington

    How do we know he wasn’t deported for molesting children? I mean, he is a Catholic priest.

    • FaintlyProgressive

      Since the Assad regime has apparently been using rape as a tool of oppression, I doubt they would care about that.

    • Arlingtoon

      He’s a Jesuit. There are many Catholics who would take issue with your calling him a “Catholic priest.”

    • JimPB

      Yes, truly “the dope.”

    • Casey

      Can you please enforce your policy and remove the post by “Dope…” it is obviously hateful and obscene and does nothing to advance the discussion in a productive manner.

      “We are working hard to provide an (at least relatively) civil place for community conversations, all while trying to report the news of the day. If you disagree with our earnest attempts to prevent back-and-forth comment flame wars and to remove hateful or obscene language, then you’re welcome to stop commenting. If you are unable to contribute to productive conversations without continuously complaining about our comment policies, then you will be banned.”

      • Benedict

        Is it as hateful and obscene as the church hierarchy that continues to allow the crimes to continue?

      • Move on

        He was obviously making a joke, get over it.

        • Elmer

          “Move on”: That’s a pretty sick joke-if its a joke.

          • Justin Russo

            It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

  • Thomas

    Story of the year guys, great work.

  • curious george

    The irony is that if an Islamist regime takes over Syria he would be lucky to be deported.

    • drax

      So we should support the current regime?

      • curious george

        I think in this case we are dealing with a choice between evil and even more evil.

        Not really a win no matter what happens.

        And why should we support either side? Let them kill each other off. The world will be a better place.

        • bi-curious george

          Yeah. Syria doesn’t have any oil, so why should we care.

        • faintly progressive

          “I think in this case we are dealing with a choice between evil and even more evil.”

          Its possible, buit we dont know that. In Libya it looks like there really will be a better regime. hell, even Iraq under Maliki isnt as bad as Saddam. Of course in Libya we got improvement with out any US deaths (vs over 4000 in Iraq) and with much less expenditure of $$. leading from behing looking not so bad.

          “And why should we support either side? Let them kill each other off. The world will be a better place.”

          Libya is friendly to us. Egypt not so much. What we do or don’t do has consequences.

  • JimPB

    Kudos to Rock Spring UCC for sponsoring this talk by a brother in Christ about a matter of increasing import for Syria and the Middle East.

  • Grammarian

    Does anyone else find this headline a little bit funny? My first thought was “they deported him so that he could come speak in Arlington”?

  • Mc

    I enjoy the listing of supposed “related posts”: see if you see want makes them all related.

    • sunflower

      yeah, pretty unrelated—-my dog can “speak”

  • Thinking Catholic

    How come this talk is not being held at a Catholic church? What’s up with the Diocese of Arlington?? What’s their problem with this?


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