09/21/2018, 13.48
IRAQ
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Baghdad Auxilliary: young people and families, the heart of Chaldean Church missionary challenge

Priests and bishops met in Ankawa to discuss the "new lines" of pastoral planning. Msgr. Warduni: help in this difficult time, sharing "problems". The family is the heart of society and the first place for practicing the faith. Strengthen the moments of meeting and discussion.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The Chaldean Church must become missionary and "go out to meet young people and families", helping them "in difficulty" by sharing "the problems and challenges" first of all "the lack of work" and "the wars" that bloody the region, says Msgr. Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary bishop of Baghdad.

The Patriarch’s right hand man was speaking at the conclusion of the Chaldean patriarchal Synod, held from September 17 to 19 in Ankawa, a Christian district north of Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. "There are many problems - the prelate warns - this is why today it is even more urgent to strengthen our pastoral outreach".

At the beginning of the meeting the audience listened to the message sent by the Chaldean patriarch Card. Louis Raphael Sako, who asked them to look for "new lines” in their pastoral plan. The Cardinal invoked special attention to the theme of young people and families, in a moment of deep historical and social crisis that also affects Iraq where cases of separations, divided families and crisis of the founding nucleus of society multiply. Cardinal Sako urged participants to look to the next Synod of young people scheduled in Rome from 3 to 28 October on the theme: "Youth, faith and vocational discernment".

Regarding the challenges of the Christian family, bishops and priests have emphasized the importance of nurturing faith in homes, especially among young people who face a culture of continuous change, the search for easy profit and immediate satisfaction. Hence the purpose of strengthening listening centers, meetings and conferences, strengthening the role of pastors for the "resolution of conjugal problems", without "imposing" but "remaining at the service" of couples.

Young people, faced with the problem of migration, must be helped to build their own future: in marriage, in daily life, in social and professional growth, in safeguarding the values ​​that underpin life. Priests and lay people must help them in their formation, encouraging them to complete their studies and reiterating the importance of marriage and family formation, also embracing the faithful of the Diaspora.

"Youth and families - underlines Msgr. Warduni - are a central and recurring theme in the life of the global Church today. This is why Patriarch Sako wanted to promote this meeting, analyzing the problems and seeking answers through the discussion between priests and bishops. The family always plays a central role in society, in the face of challenges and threats. This is why we too must look for new ways of meeting and answering needs. It is an element of strength for the Church and it is within it that faith is cultivated and practiced ".

Today, the prelate continues, we must "increasingly meet people", especially those who "have turned away from the Church and the Lord". In this sense, "priests have to set a good example first" and this is also why the Chaldean Synod intends to strengthen the criterion for selecting and choosing "candidates for the priesthood and for monastic life". We want to "expand the moments of meeting and discussion", underlines Msgr. Warduni, so they "increasingly understand that we are their neighbors, helping them to become seeds of peace in a context too often of violence and conflict".

The lack of work, security, economic difficulties, migration represent the heart of the missionary challenge and the Church is called to "be ever more present and participate". Young Iraqis, concludes the prelate, can help foster the message that the family is "the basis on which to reconstruct the future and society. And that we should not just talk, complain, denounce the difficulties but act to confront and overcome these problems and find shared solutions".

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