"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pope Voices Esteem for Churches in the East

AMMAN, Jordan - Eastern Churches offer a treasure of avenues to bring others to Christ through their ancient living traditions, says Benedict XVI.

In a homily delivered today at the celebration of Vespers in the Greek-Melkite Cathedral of St. George, the Pope addressed leaders of Catholic Churches in the Near East.

Among those present were Gregorios III Laham, the Greek Melkite Patriarch from Damascus, Emeritus Archbishop Georges El-Murr and Archbishop Yasser Ayyach of Petra and Philadelphia, and leaders from the Maronite, Syrian, Armenian, Chaldean and Latin Churches. Archbishop Benediktos Tsikoras of the Greek Orthodox Church was also in attendance.

The Holy Father expressed his sincere thanks for the "opportunity to pray with you and to experience something of the richness of our liturgical traditions."

"The Church herself is a pilgrim people and thus, through the centuries, has been marked by determinant historical events and pervading cultural epochs," the Pope remarked. "Sadly, some of these have included times of theological dispute or periods of repression."

"Others, however, have been moments of reconciliation -- marvelously strengthening the communion of the Church -- and times of rich cultural revival, to which Eastern Christians have contributed so greatly," he continued.

"Particular Churches," the Pope explained, "within the universal Church attest to the dynamism of her earthly journey and manifest to all members of the faithful a treasure of spiritual, liturgical, and ecclesiastical traditions which point to God's universal goodness and his will, seen throughout history, to draw all into his divine life..." (Read more at Catholic Online News or at Zenit.org)

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