"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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pope ready to announce synod on Middle East for 2010

(Article Source: CBCP see also CNS) VATICAN, Sept. 19, 2009-- Vatican sources said Pope Benedict XVI was preparing to convene a Synod of Bishops for the Middle East to be held in October of 2010, to address the trials and tribulations of the Christian population in the region.

Patriarchs and other representatives from Eastern churches arrived in Rome Sept. 18, and the pope was to meet with them the next day to discuss the initiative, the sources said. An announcement of the synod was expected in coming days.

Pope Benedict has spoken frequently about the pressures faced by Christian and Catholic minorities in the Middle East, particularly in the Holy Land and in Iraq. The synod would provide an opportunity for a much-needed strategizing session at the level of the universal church, one source said.

The Vatican press office would not confirm reports of a Middle East synod, but it released the names of 11patriarchs and other representatives meeting the pope Sept. 19 at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo.

They included the Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad, Iraq; Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem; the Lebanon-based Maronite patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah P. Sfeir; and representatives of the Ukrainian, Syro-Malabar, Coptic, Melkite, Syrian, Armenian, Romanian and Syro-Malankar rites.

Last January, Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk, Iraq, and other Iraqi bishops in Rome for their "ad limina" visits asked the pope to convene a special synod for the churches of the Middle East.

Archbishop Sako said the priority topics for such a synod would include the problem of Christians fleeing the Middle East, paying Christian witness in a predominantly Muslim world, relations with Muslims, the role of Christians in civil and political life, lack of full religious freedom and Christians' prospects for the future.

Bishop Maroun Lahham of Tunis, Tunisia, a Jordanian native of Palestinian parentage, told Catholic News Service earlier this year that when the church discusses Asia -- as it did in a 1998 synod for that region -- "it's the Philippines, India, Japan, not the Middle East."

Bishops Lahham, who worked as a priest in the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem as well as in the United Arab Emirates, said while the Middle East is technically part of the Asian land mass, "the issues ... were very unlike those" in typically Asian countries.

"We didn't feel (the Asian synod) was meant for us," said the bishop, who was head of the seminary in Beit Jalla, West Bank, at the time. (CNS)

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