27 May 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 05/16/2013, 00.00

    ITALY

    For Bartholomew, the "persecution of the Christians" has not ceased, and "the Church of Christ will never cease to generate martyrs"



    The Ecumenical Patriarch is in Milan to celebrate 1,700 years since the Edict of Constantine, when "for the first time, religious freedom was enshrined into law." Today however, in many places, Christians are seen as enemies of society and the state. Equally, the Christian faith is not tolerated in many countries.

    Milan (AsiaNews) - Some 1,700 years have passed since Emperor Constantine granted Christians the right to believe in God, yet "the persecution of Christians has not ceased;" thus, "the Church of Christ will never cease to generate martyrs" until God "enlightens everyone, so that they understand that peace, reconciliation, tolerance, meekness, and mercy can only have a positive effect on human society in general, especially in terms of deeds and words."

    Religious freedom and the journey of a divided Church " towards unity according to the Lord's command" are central to the thoughts Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I expressed this morning at the ecumenical prayer that saw him in Milan's Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan, together with Cardinal Angelo Scola.

    The celebration of Edict of Constantine is behind the ecumenical patriarch's visit to the Archdiocese of Milan. For the Orthodox Church, the emperor is a saint, and the event provided the two 'sister Churches' an important opportunity to reaffirm their ecumenical will. Indeed, the patriarch's words and attitudes are evidence of this, as are the "fraternal greetings", Pope Francis sent him yesterday.

    The spirit of the Constantinian document issued in the year 313 naturally centres on religious freedom.

    If in his message Pope Francis expressed hope that "today as then, the common witness of Christians of East and West, sustained by the Spirit of the Risen One, can contribute to spreading the message of salvation in Europe and throughout the world and that, thanks to the far-sightedness of civil authorities, the right to public expression of one's faith is respected everywhere and the contribution Christianity continues to offer to culture and society of our time is welcomed without bias," Bartholomew noted instead that, "with great sorrow today we see Christians, of all denominations, persecuted in many places, deemed enemies of society and the state; [we see that] the Christian faith is not tolerated in many countries and under many laws. Despite the progress apparently noted in the world with regard to respect of human rights, the persecution of the Christians has not ceased."

    Similarly, Card Scola noted that "such freedom is trampled upon in many different ways, from martyrdom in the lands of the Middle East to legal obstacles that prevent its full implementation as sometimes happens in Europe."

    The patriarch's visit begun yesterday with a celebration in the church of Santa Maria Podone-which the diocese gave to the Orthodox community-and continued in the afternoon in the Hall of the Caryatid in Milan's Royal Palace, Bartholomew and Card Scola gave keynote addresses on the topic of religious freedom as a fundamental right from which stem all other human rights.

    Today, the Patriarch stressed the "great benefit" the Edict of Milan offered humanity. "For the first time, religious freedom was enshrined into the law of an Empire, the Roman Empire, which then influenced 'the fate' of the world. Because of this freedom that had been given, and thanks to the reforms of Constantine the Great at all levels of legislation and life of his empire, under the strong influence of Christian teachings, the bases and foundations of basic human rights were laid."

    "However," he added, "the laws are unfortunately changed on the whim of those in power. Sometimes for the better, but most of the times for the worse, under various pretexts, when it comes to human rights. We have all experienced, even today, the will of those in power and those who have rejected and denied from the start the Christian message of love and sacrifice."

    Another aspect of Constantine's work that Bartholomew highlighted is the fact that "the Emperor was very interested, and rightly so, in the unity of the Church, which presupposes unity in faith, without which it is essentially impossible. Constantine the Great understood the need for spiritual unity among his subjects, as a commitment to the prosperity of the state, and as his ardent desire to see the people of his empire united under one and only guide of life and love, our Lord Jesus Christ."

    "The organisation of a united Christian empire was part of Constantine the Great's broad vision, in which peace, fraternity, solidarity, harmony and love would have reigned. Certainly, without such a vision, today's Europe, speaking by analogy, would not have this spiritual heritage. The world too would not have caught with the same depth the spread of the Christian message on God, man and the world, a message that has and should have the single purpose of man's deification man. With faith, man conquers selfishness, leaves the bounds of the "self", and enters a new transcendent reality, in which new laws are in place: "the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come'(2 Cor., 5:17-18).

    Bartholomew concluded by saying, "By living according to the commandments of the Holy Gospel and acting with wisdom and continued sanctification, we are trying not to let fear stop us from resisting the destructive power of globalisation and material life in today's world-with, as our role models, Constantine the Great and of Saint Ambrose, whose relics are preserved in this temple 'to cheer and delight' all our hearts, collected in order to announce 'what is to happen to you in days to come' (Genesis, 49:1)."

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    25/03/2017 18:52:00 ITALY – VATICAN
    Pope: in a time marked by speculation, nothing and no one is "foreign" to God

    Francis celebrated Mass in Monza before a million people according to organisers. This followed his visit to Milan’s San Vittore Prison where he had lunch with inmates. “The Lord loves me as much as he does you,” he told them. “Jesus himself is in you and in me; we are sinful brothers".



    25/03/2017 20:53:00 ITALY – VATICAN
    Pope tells 80,000 youth that grandparents can help them find faith, says no to bullying

    Parents should strive to educate children about contents, ideas, values and attitudes about life. He urged them to play with their children, take the time to go to Mass with them, visit a park, and remember that they can see and suffer when they argue.



    25/03/2017 16:15:00 ITALY – VATICAN
    Pope in Milan: pastors must teach how to choose in a society that has many cultures

    Francis began his visit at the Case Bianche compound, home to three families. He met priests and consecrated people at the Cathedral where he talked about discernment. “Choose the peripheries, reawaken processes, ignite the spent and weakened hope of a society that has become insensible to the pain of others,” he said.



    06/12/2016 18:47:00 ITALY – ORTHODOXY
    For Bartholomew, Christians cannot be indifferent to migrants and fundamentalism

    The Ecumenical Patriarch attended Mass in Bari’s Basilica of St Nicholas. We “cannot be silent before the scandal of the commodification of people, of religious fundamentalism that claims to act in the God’s name, of man's exploitation of man, of the depletion of natural resources for the benefit of a few to the detriment of the many, especially the poorest.”



    23/06/2016 13:05:00 TURKEY
    Ramadan, the battle for prayer in St. Sophia a sign of Turkey’s Islamisation

    In the month of fasting and prayer every day a Muslim imam reads passages from the Koran in the gardens of the former church, now a museum. Heeding the demands of the lunatic fringe, the government wants to turn the building into a mosque. The clash with the Greek government and the strategic relations between Ankara and Athens on immigration.

     





    Editor's choices

    VATICAN
    Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan



    During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.


    VATICAN-CHINA
    May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®