"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

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pope Says Church Is Instrument of Unity in Mideast

Requests Prayers for Synod of Bishops

Participants in the opening Liturgy of
the Synod of Bishops of the Middle East.
VATICAN CITY (Zenit.org) - Benedict XVI is pointing out that the Church is called to be a sign and instrument of unity in the Middle East, amid all of the division present in that region.

The Pope affirmed this today before praying the midday Angelus together with those gathered in St. Peter's Square.

He said: "I have just come from St. Peter's Basilica where I presided at the opening Mass of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops.

"This extraordinary synodal gathering, which will last two weeks, will see the meeting in Rome of the pastors of the Church that lives in the Middle East, a very diverse reality. In that land, in fact, the one Church of Christ expresses herself in all the wealth of her ancient traditions."

The Pontiff noted, "We will be reflecting on the following theme: 'The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness.'"

"In fact," he added, "in those countries, unfortunately marked by profound divisions and lacerations by age-old conflicts, the Church is called to be the sign and instrument of unity and of reconciliation, on the model of the first community of Jerusalem, in which 'the multitude of those who had become Christian were of one heart and one soul' (Acts 4:32)."

"This is an arduous task," the Holy Father observed, "since the Christians of the Middle East often find themselves having to endure difficult conditions of life at the personal, familial and communal levels."

He continued, "But this should not be discouraging: It is precisely in this context that the perennial message of Christ becomes more necessary and urgent: 'Convert and believe in the Gospel' (Mark 1:15)."

Benedict XVI concluded by inviting everyone to pray for the synod assembly, "invoking from God an abundant outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit."

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