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» 06/19/2009
VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST
Every day I pray for the Christians of Iraq and the Middle East says Pope
Receiving the Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan, Benedict XVI expresses his particular “concern” for the spiritual life of the priests and says he is sure that the Year dedicated to them which begins today, will be a “fruitful opportunity for the entire church”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Pope prays everyday for peace in the Middle East especially for the Christians of Iraq.  Benedict XVI himself said so, during a meeting this morning with Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians (in Lebanon), and members of the Synod of the Syro-Catholic Church.  “I constantly pray – he said – for peace in the Middle East, in particular for the Christians who lived in the beloved nation of Iraq, every day, during the Eucharistic Sacrifice, I present their suffering to the Lord”.

On the day the Year for Priests officially begins the Pope revealed his “concern” for the spiritual life of priests.  “I wish to share with you – he said – another of my great concerns: that of the spiritual life of priests.  Today, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the day of priestly sanctification, I will have the immense joy of opening the year for priests which coincides with the 150th anniversary of the death of the Curè d’Ars. I believe – he continued – that this special jubilee year, that begins as the Pauline year ends, will be a fruitful opportunity for the entire Church.  On Calvary, Mary was with the apostle John at the foot of the Cross.  Today we too gather spiritually around the cross, to lift our gaze up to He who was pierced and from whom we receive every grace”.

Benedict XVI concluded by recalling the value of the communion between the Apostolic See and the Syro-Catholic Patriarchate. “In the course of your history which stretches back down through the millennia, your communion with the Bishop of Rome proceeded hand in hand with your Eastern spiritual tradition and both form complimentary aspects of a unique patrimony of faith professed by your venerable Church”.

 

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See also
06/25/2010 VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST
Pope: peace in the Middle East grows out of respect for human rights and religious freedom
08/02/2006 VATICAN - MIDDLE EAST
"Heart full of sorrow", pope urges prayer and effective action in Middle East
06/24/2011 VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST
Pope urges “every possible form of mediation" for the Middle East and North Africa
06/07/2010 CYPRUS-VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST
Benedict XVI in Cyprus: a significant step in the ecumenical journey
by NAT da Polis
06/06/2010 VATICAN-CYPRUS-MIDDLE EAST
Pope: Synod to reinforce solidarity among Christians of the Middle East

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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