Pope calls a Special Synod for the Middle East in 2010
Pope Benedict XVI announced this Synod during a meeting with Archbishops and Patriarchs of the East.
A Vatican handout picture of Pope Benedict XVI praying at the tomb of Jesus inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem in May. Pope Benedict XVI is planning to summon a special synod of bishops to discuss the Middle East in October next year, the Vatican said in a statement.
“During this brotherly meeting" - said Benedict XVI- "surely in your speeches, the issues that bother you will be expressed and you can find the adequate guidelines in the right place.
"I would like to assure you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I haven’t forgotten your appeal for peace that you placed in my hands at the end of the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops last October.
"I would like to take this opportunity to announce the special Assembly of the Synod dedicated to the Middle East, convened by me from the 10th to the 24th of October 2010, and the theme shall be “ The Catholic church in the Middle East: communion and testimony: The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul (At 4,32)”.
He further added “Today’s meeting reminds me of that held on the 24th of April 2004 in the St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Back then during the first days of my pontificate I wanted an ideal pilgrimage in the heart of the Christian East: a pilgrimage that today had reached another important point and which I intend to continue.
"On other occasions you have asked for a more regular contact with the bishop of Rome to enforce the communion of your churches with the successor of St.Peter and to examine together any problems of significant importance.
"This proposal has been renewed even in the last Plenary Congregation for the Eastern churches and in the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.
As Asianews published yesterday, the patriarchs presented the pope with a note that underlines four points that are very important in the life of the Christians in that region: the growth of fundamentalism in the Middle East and the restlessness of the Christians, the importance of Muslim-Christian dialogue, the position of the oriental catholic patriarch in the universal church and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Kuwait and in the gulf countries.
The proposal for an special assembly of the synod for the Middle East was made to the pope last January by the Iraqi Bishop Louis Sako. The Bishop said that another problem that must be solved is the continuous exodus of the Christians from the Middle East , especially from the Holy Land,includingIraq, Iran and Lebanon; the problem of those who have emigrated and of a pastoral that helps his integration.; the presence of Christians in the social, cultural, religious and political fields and the education of the Christians so that they can fight for their rights on a political, social and cultural level.
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