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» 06/21/2012
VATICAN - MIDEAST
Reconciliation should end violence that could engulf entire region, says pope
Benedict XVI makes a new plea, calling on the international community to assume its responsibilities. He addressed participants at the meeting of the 'Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches' (ROACO).

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - In a new, poignant plea about Syria, Benedict XVI called for an end to the "bloodshed and violence, that only bring pain and death, may cease and give way to reconciliation, harmony and peace. Every effort should be made, including by the international community, to bring Syria out of the present situation of violence and crisis, which has already lasted a long time and risks becoming a wider conflict that would have highly negative consequences for the country and the whole region. I also issue an urgent and heartfelt appeal, in view of the extreme need of the population, that the necessary humanitarian assistance be guaranteed, and extended to the many persons who have been forced to leave their homes, some of them becoming refugees in neighbouring countries. The precious gift of human life must always be defended."

The pope, who  spoke at today's meeting of the 'Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches' (ROACO), said "that the Holy Land and the other Eastern regions" should "receive material and spiritual support, in an ordered and just way, so as to meet the demands of their ordinary ecclesial life and other special needs."

In his address to ROACO, the pontiff noted, "The present economic and social situation, all the more sensitive on account of its global dimensions, continues to create problems in economically developed areas of the world, and, more seriously, spills over into less affluent regions, seriously compromising their present and their future. The East, the motherland of ancient Christian traditions, is especially affected by this process, which engenders uncertainty and instability that also has an impact on the Church and in the ecumenical and interreligious fields. These factors tend to reopen the endemic wounds of history and they have a damaging effect on dialogue and peaceful cohabitation among peoples. They also weaken authentic respect for human rights, especially the right to personal and community religious freedom. This right should be guaranteed in its public profession, not only in terms of worship, but also in relation to the pastoral, educational, charitable and social activities that are indispensable for its effective exercise."

Finally, Benedict XVI reiterated his "closeness to the sufferings of our brothers and sisters in Syria, especially innocent children and the defenceless. May our prayer, our commitment and our active brotherhood in Christ, as an oil of consolation, help them not to lose sight of the light of hope in this moment of darkness".

May Mary, Mother of God "watch over the coming journey which, God willing, I will make to Lebanon for the solemn closing of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops."

 


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See also
02/12/2012 VATICAN - SYRIA
Pope appeals to Damascus and all to "end violence" and "favour the path of dialogue"
09/01/2013 VATICAN - SYRIA
Pope: a day of prayer for peace in Syria and in the world
06/19/2008 VATICAN
May the Middle East be offered its much-longed-for peace, stability and religious freedom, says Pope
11/07/2012 VATICAN-SYRIA
Pope: "do everything possible" for Syria, "because one day it may be too late"
09/18/2013 VATICAN
Pope: Syrian "tragedy" "can only be resolved through dialogue and negotiation".

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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