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    » 06/24/2011, 00.00

    VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST

    Pope urges “every possible form of mediation" for the Middle East and North Africa



    Assistance to those fleeing, support to maintain the Christian presence in the region, so they can live as fellow citizens and not as foreigners, recognizing their equal dignity and real freedom.

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - That "every possible form of mediation" is explored to stop the violence in North Africa and the Middle East, so that peace returns "respecting the rights of both individuals and communities." This was the prayer Benedict XVI raised today on receiving the participants of the Meeting of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO) and in doing so he once again appealed for an end to conflicts in favour of the path of dialogue.

    "I pray - his words - that the necessary emergency assistance will be forthcoming, but above all I pray that every possible form of mediation will be explored, so that violence may cease and social harmony and peaceful coexistence may everywhere be restored, with respect for the rights of individuals as well as communities. Fervent prayer and reflection will help us at the same time to read the signs emerging from the present season of toil and tears: may the Lord of history always turn them to the common good".

    The prayer of the Pope comes a little more than a month on from his exhortation addressed to the Syrian ambassador, when he said that "global solution" is needed in the Middle East that "should not harm the interests of any of the parties involved and be the fruit of a compromise, not unilateral decisions imposed by force" that "do not solve anything. "

    Today, referring to "changes that are occurring in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, which is cause for concern throughout the world," the Pope said he was being kept informed by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch (of Egypt), the Maronite Patriarch (Lebanese) from the Pontifical representatives in Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, from congregations and agencies that "will be able to assess the situation on the ground for the Church and the peoples of that region, which is so important for world peace and stability”. The Pope expresses his closeness, even through you, to those who are suffering and those who are trying desperately to escape, thereby increasing the flow of migration that remains without hope. "

    To ROACO, finally, he recommended "ecclesial charity" for the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East "to sustain the Christian presence. I ask you to do everything you can - even by interesting the public authorities with whom you are dealing internationally – so that in the East where the pastors and faithful of Christ were born may live not as' foreigners' but as' fellow citizens, that the sons and daughters of the Eastern Churches may bear witness to Jesus Christ, as the saints of the past have before them. The East is rightly their earthly homeland. It is there that they are required to promote, without distinction, the good of all, through their faith. To all those who profess this faith an equal dignity and real freedom must be recognized, to allow a fruitful ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration. "
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    See also

    08/05/2009 VATICAN – JORDAN
    Pope: I come to the Middle East to bring hope of peace
    Benedict XVI encourages the region’s Christians to “find the courage, the humility and patience to stay in these countries and offer their contribution to the future.” He wishes unity for the Lebanese people and peace for individuals, for parents and children, for communities, peace for Jerusalem, for the Holy Land, for the region, peace for the entire human family.”

    08/05/2009 VATICAN – JORDAN
    Church has contributed and wants to contribute to peace in the Middle East, says Pope
    In Amman, first stage in his trip to the Holy Land, Benedict XVI talks about an “alliance of civilisations between the West and the Muslim world”. He praises Jordan for respecting religious freedom, encouraging dialogue and holding back extremism.

    25/06/2009 VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST
    Pope: no more war, no more violence, no more injustice in the Holy Land
    Benedict XVI recalls his recent visit to the region, an opportunity to bring comfort to the Catholic Community and remind Christians of their “ecumenical and interfaith responsibility”. A thought for the Year for Priests and especially for priests who live "moments of difficulty and trial."

    18/07/2006 PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
    Nuncio urges Filipinos to pray "for Mid-East peace and unity"

    The Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr Filoni, wrote to the president of the bishops' conference, urging him to convey the papal appeal to the country's bishops "as soon as possible".



    11/05/2009 VATICAN-ISRAEL
    Pope speaks of Shoah, peace and two states for two peoples on arrival in Israel
    Benedict XVI has immediately faced the hot issues of this visit. From anti-Semitism which “continues to rear its ugly head in many parts of the world” to the request for a “just solution” to the conflict, and that all pilgrims to the Holy Sites have free access without restrictions.



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    CUBA – VATICAN – ORTHODOX
    Francis-Kirill meeting in Cuba: “Finally! We are brothers. We have everything in common”



    The first meeting in centuries between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow took place in a relaxed and fraternal atmosphere. Two hours of private talks were followed by the signing of a Joint Declaration. As he thanked Raul Castro, the pope said, "If things continue like this, Cuba will be the capital of unity." Both leaders are committed to defending Christians around the world and support "the foundations of morality, the family and the person".


    VATICAN – CUBA – ORTHODOX
    Francis and Kirill: Orthodox and Catholics united vis-à-vis persecuted Christians and the secularised West



    In the Joint Declaration signed in Havana, the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow emphasise the world’s evils and the need for Christians to bear witness together. Both stand for the natural marriage of a man and a woman, the right to life, and the need for inter-faith dialogue. Both are saddened by the scandal of division, and jointly appeal for an end to religious persecution, for peace in Ukraine and for unity based on "tangible gestures." The full text of the Declaration follows.


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