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» 12/09/2013
VATICAN-EGYPT-MIDDLE EAST
Pope: peace and religious freedom for Egypt's Copts, the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East
Francis concelebrates morning Mass with the Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak . Recognition for "the right for Christians to live peacefully where they were born , in the homeland they have loved as citizens for two thousand years , to contribute as always to the common good".

Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - Peace and religious freedom for the Egyptian Copts , the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East . "May all enmity and division forever cease".  This was the call this morning from Pope Francis during Mass at Casa Santa Marta concelebrated with the Patriarch of Alexandria of the Catholic Copts , Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak , during the public manifestation of "ecclesiastical communion" with the Successor of Peter.

In his homily, the Pope first turned his thoughts to the Coptic faithful, in the words of the Prophet Isaiah in the first reading, discussing an awakening of the heart in expectation of the Lord : " The encouragement 'to the faint of heart' we feel aimed at those who are experiencing insecurity and violence , sometimes because of the Christian faith in your beloved land of Egypt. 'Have courage : be not afraid ! 'Here are the consoling words which are confirmed by our fraternal solidarity. I am grateful to God for this meeting which gives us a way to strengthen your and our hope, because it is the same".

The Gospel , he said, presents " Christ who overcomes the paralysis of humanity." And moreover, "the paralysis of conscience is contagious". "With the complicity of the poverty of history and our sin, it can enter and expand in the social structures and communities to block entire peoples ." But " Christ's command can reverse the situation : 'Arise , walk!'".

"Let us pray with confidence so that peace can always rise up again from the all too recurrent and dramatic episodes in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East. May enmity and division forever cease. May the peace agreements often paralyzed by conflicting and obscure interests quickly resume. May real guarantees of religious freedom to all finally be given, along with the right for Christians to live peacefully where they were born , in the homeland they have loved as citizens for two thousand years , to contribute as always to the common good!".

The Pope then recalled what Jesus experienced when he fled with the Holy Family and found refuge in the "fertile land " of Egypt. He thus invoked the Lord to "watch over the Egyptians who seek dignity and security on the streets of the world".

"And may we always go forward, seeking the Lord , looking for new ways, new ways to get closer to the Lord. And if you need to open a hole in the roof to get closer to the Lord all that our creative imagination of charity leads us to this: to find and to make new paths of encounter, of brotherhood, of peace. "

For his part, Patriarch Sidrak expressed his joy at the chance to celebrate Mass with the Pope , and emphasized that the Church in Egypt , in this delicate moment in history , "needs the fatherly support" of the Successor of Peter. He then invoked the gift of peace : " May the light of Christmas to be the star that reveals the path of love , unity, reconciliation and peace, gifts which my land has such great need of. I ask for your blessing , Holy Father , we eagerly await you in Egypt. "

 


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See also
09/26/2013 VATICANO
Pope: Catechism not enough to know Jesus, heart, prayer, dialogue are needed
02/06/2014 VATICAN
Pope: ask to die in the Church, die in hope and leaving behind the witness of our Christian life
01/14/2014 VATICAN
Pope: Be Christians like Jesus, who loves people, and not "legalistic", "hypocrites" or "corrupt"
01/07/2014 VATICAN
Pope: We must "test" our thoughts and desires to see if something comes from Christ or the antichrist
12/10/2013 VATICAN
Pope: When Jesus draws near, "He consoles," "always opens doors" and gives us the hope to move forward

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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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