05/03/2010, 00.00
VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST

Synod for the Middle East to strengthen the Christian identity and promote ecumenism

Benedict XVI will deliver the Instrumentum Laboris to pastors of churches in the Middle East during his next trip to Cyprus. This was announced by the secretariat of the synod as a " valuable opportunity to also examine the religious and social situation, to give Christians a clear vision of how to be active witnesses of Christ in the context of a Muslim-majority society” .

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Synod on the Middle East will have a dual objective: "to confirm and strengthen Christians in their identity through the Word of God and the Sacraments, and revive the ecclesial communion between the Churches, so they may be an ' authentic Christian witness, in contact with other Churches and ecclesial communities”. Hence the urgency of a commitment to a convinced ecumenism.

This is what has emerged from the third meeting of the Council for the Middle East of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, according to a statement released today by the same Secretariat.

The Synod, due to take place form October 10 to 24, "will be a valuable opportunity to also examine the religious and social situation, to give Christians a clear vision of how to be active witnesses of Christ in the context of Muslim-majority society.  Therefore, means reflecting on the present situation which is not an easy one, marked by conflict and instability, which cause the exodus of the population, including many Christians. "

The Church "despite the difficulties of the present time, relying on divine providence, remains confident of a future of peace, justice and respectful collaboration with members of Judaism and Islam, for the good of all inhabitants of the region" .

During the meeting, an draft program was produced, on the basis of responses to the Lineamenta, supplemented by contributions received from the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, the episcopal conferences, the departments of the Roman Curia and various religious institutions. This draft will serve as a study document and agenda for the Synod Fathers.

Finally, it is reported that members of the Council pre-synodal council will attend the Mass that Benedict XVI will celebrate in Nicosia, during his stay in Cyprus, scheduled for  4 to 6 June. During his trip, the Pope will deliver the Instrumentum Laboris to pastors of churches in the Middle East.

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