Pope: May God grant light and strength to “Aid to the Church in Need”
In a message marking the 60th anniversary of the international organisation founded by Fr. Werenfried van Straaten, Benedict XVI expresses his concern for the Churches of the near Middle East “whose very existence is threatened”.
Rome, 19 September 2007 – “May almighty God grant your mission ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ light and strength, so that in the future it may continue to give help there where the Churches are most in need”. This is how Benedict XVI’s message to participants in an international convention marking the 60th anniversary of ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ concludes. This message was written on behalf of the pope by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the convention was held September 13th to 16th in Castelgandolfo.
“We look with great concern – the document reads - at some of the local churches in the Middle East which are today threatened in their very existence… the numerous Catholics forced to live to a large extent without pastoral support, who are either forbidden altogether, or permitted only under severe limitations, to publicly profess their Faith”.
In the message the Pope, who also spoke of the anniversary of the founding of ACN in his Sunday Angelus, defines the organisations concerns “which demand particular attention”, Benedict XVI called on ACN to take action for the Church using the media, which he described as having “enormous influence” on humanity’s life and culture. The Church urgently needs people through whom God can be made increasingly present in this wide field, people who will…use all the technical means available so His message can reach the ends of the earth”.
Over 80 members of the international direction, project leaders, presidents, ecclesial assistants and national directors of ACN took part in the convention, to reflect on the future of the mission founded in 1947 by Fr. Werenfried van Straaten, known as “Padre Lardo”.
14/09/2011 MIDDLE EAST - ITALYThe Christians of the Near East and Islamist ideology
At the 23rd European week on Euro-Mediterranean religious history, a series of interventions illustrate the great saga of the Churches of Antioch, from martyrdom to deportations, but also passionate evangelization and inter-religious and cultural dialogue. An overview by the editor of AsiaNews on the current situation of the Churches of the Near East in the throes of radical Islamism.
19/01/2010 VATICAN-MIDDLE EAST Churches of the Middle East: witnesses of Jesus in a world with more shadows than lights
The working document of the Synod for the Middle East outlines the situation of Christians in the region and their future prospects. Life in Muslim countries as non-citizens, and while political Islam is growing. The need for ecumenical dialogue. The difficulties of Christians living in Arab countries and relations with the Jewish world.
03/05/2010 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” .
06/06/2010 VATICAN-CYPRUS-MIDDLE EAST Pope: Synod to reinforce solidarity among Christians of the Middle East
Benedict XVI delivers the Instrumentum Laboris to the synodal assembly. Memory of Msgr. Padovese. The international community must work to end conflicts in the region, rather than "lead to an increased shedding of blood." For Christians, artisans of reconciliation, both recognized the freedom of religion.