20 December, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/13/2012
IRAQ - LEBANON
Baghdad Archbishop: pope in Lebanon, a sign of "optimism" for the Middle East
On his way to Beirut, Mgr Sleiman says Benedict XVI's visit is "blessing for all of us." He expressed the hope it will not be politicised since the pope is coming to pass on a message of "communion and witness" that calls for "unity and credibility" in the Church of the Middle East so as to give the faithful renewed "hope."

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "The pope's visit to the Middle East is a very strong spiritual experience for us," raising "our sense of optimism" for his presence "will be a blessing for us all," said Mgr Jean Benjamin Sleiman, Latin archbishop of Baghdad as he spoke about Benedict XVI's upcoming visit to lebanon (14-16 September). AsiaNews reached him by phone at the airport just before he left for Beirut to take part in the meeting between the pontiff and the Mideast Churches.

The papal visit comes at a time of renewed violence and tensions in the region, as evinced by the attacks against US embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen, caused ostensibly by a blasphemous movie about Islam made in the United States.

Mgr Sleiman told AsiaNews that he hoped that the political controversies of a "complicated world" do not drown out the pope's visit.

"He is bringing a message of communion and witness to the Churches that emerged from the Synod" held in October 2010 in the Vatican. "I hope he can pass this message on and that everyone will listen to it."

"If we apply it, there will be a lot of communion, hence unity and credibility," Baghdad's Latin archbishop said. "Unity and credibility" are the means to "revive hope" in the Christian community, because "that is our problem today."

Speaking about Islamic-Christian interfaith efforts, Mgr Sleiman said, "Relations with Muslims are taken seriously in the Vatican." The "Synod insisted a lot on these relations and this will certainly be the case in the Apostolic Exhortation."

"Problems that do exist come from elsewhere because it is not in the Middle East that movies and acts that cause tensions are made."

"We are paying for people who think that freedom means doing whatever they want, humiliate or attack others," he explained. "This applies to Muslims but also Catholics who are often humiliated in the name of so-called freedom." One example is singer Madonna who "uses Christian symbols and the pope in an insulting manner."

"Of course, we cannot respond to violence with violence. We cannot go to war," Mgr Sleiman noted.  "We must instead go back to what is essential and understand that freedom is also respect for others."

Coming to the Iraqi Church and the thoughts that Benedict XVI's visit to the Middle East might bring, the prelate said that the fundamental problems "are unity and the need to give people confidence."

"When an Iraqi family whose origins date back to the first century says it no longer has any connection to the country, that is truly bad," he said bitterly. "Many are leaving not because they are persecuted or are in danger, but because they are scared and have no hope in the future."

"We must provide a credible message. If the Church applies the Apostolic Exhortation, it cannot but reap its fruit," Mgr Sleiman explained. "Both the Chaldean Church, which is the largest, and the independent Churches are important for unity and harmony." (DS)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/10/2012 LEBANON - VATICAN
For Caritas Lebanon president, the papal visit is a sign of hope for 100,000 Syrian refugees
09/14/2012 LEBANON - VATICAN
Pope: yes to Arab spring, no fundamentalism and weapons
by Amina Makhlouf
08/19/2014 IRAQ
As the liberation of the Nineveh Plains gets underway, Kurdistan bishop waits for Pope Francis
08/20/2014 LEBANON - IRAQ
Patriarch al-Rahi in Kurdistan for the future of Christians and the fight against Islamists
by Fady Noun
05/13/2014 LEBANON - HOLY LAND
For Mgr Sabbah, Patriarch al-Rahi's presence in the Holy Land will boost Arab Christian identity
by Fady Noun

Editor's choices
IRAQ - VATICAN
As 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' continues, Mosul bishop notes that Jesus is born amid refugee containers
by Amel NonaPersecuted by the Islamic state, refugees have lost everything: belongings, home, jobs, school, and their future. Yet, their faith and mission remain strong. For them, almost 900,000 euros have been raised and sent. Pope Francis sends a message of closeness. The campaign continues according to the Patriarch of Baghdad's proposal of fasting and moderation at Christmas and New Year, with the money saved offered to the Christians of Mosul.
IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch calls for fasting on Christmas Eve for refugees' return to Mosul
by Joseph MahmoudMar Louis Sako calls on the faithful not to celebrate Christmas and New Year in a "worldly" fashion, with pomp and abundance, out of solidarity with the people who fled the Nineveh plains, persecuted by the Islamic Army. AsiaNews is joining the fast proposed by the Patriarch and calls on all readers to give what they would have otherwise spent in support of the campaign 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul'.
IRAQ - ITALY
Letter from Archbishop of Mosul: Thank you for your aid, supporting the plight of refugees
by Amel NonaThe donations made through the "Adopt a Christian from Mosul" campaign are used to buy food, warm clothes, blankets for refugees and rent houses or caravans given the early onset of winter and. Two women have defended their Christian faith before the Islamist militants who wanted to convert them, despite the threat of death. A refugee among refugees, Msgr. Nona discovers a new way of being a pastor.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.