11/29/2016, 12.21
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Card. Gracias to Asian bishops: We pray for families and for Christians in Syria

by Santosh Digal

The bishops gathered in Sri Lanka for the 11th plenary of the bishops' conference. This year's theme is the family in the relationship with the local Churches. On the agenda, the major challenges for family relationships. An inter-religious meeting with Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu leaders.


Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Let us pray for all the families and Christians in Syria” said Card. Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC). The cardinal spoke yesterday during the 11th Plenary Assembly of Asian Bishops, which opened in Negombo (Sri Lanka) and will last until 4 December.

About 140 delegates came from all over Asia to attend the meeting, attended by bishops, priests and representatives of the Eastern Churches. The theme of the Plenary, which takes place every four years, is "The Asian Catholic family: The local Church of the poor in the mission of mercy".

After the convention, the bishops will draft a document, a kind of practical guidance on the ministry in the family for the Church in Asia. "As we are gathered here to discuss and deliberate on family, we cannot but remember all the families in Syria which are experiencing suffering, immigration and death due to civil war and Christians in particular there are having tough time. We need to pray for them during this conference," said Cardinal Gracias.

Among the highlights of the plenary this year, the meeting of December 1 between Christian leaders and those of the Buddhist, Islamic and Hindu faith.

The focus of Asian bishops will be placed on the major difficulties that families face across the board in all countries: extra-marital relations, the absence of children, increase of divorce and working hours that results in less family time; the proliferation of pornography as entertainment, abortion, euthanasia and immigration.

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“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”