23 March 2018


Card. Sandri: The Eastern Churches teach us solidarity and make us rediscover the faith

The prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches: "In misfortune, they always start again from Christian values." A thought for India - "a strong community never overwhelmed by difficulties" - and a "thank you" to AsiaNews.

Rome (AsiaNews) - The East, near and far, "has an admirable apostolic and missionary impulse, helping the West to rediscover the Christian faith and the values ​​of solidarity and hospitality. Even in the midst of the most stringent difficulties caused by war and tensions, they always start from Christian values. They are an example for us all". This is the conclusion of Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

The cardinal, 69 years old, participated yesterday at the opening of the annual CNEWA meeting here in Italy (the Catholic Near East Welfare Association), the American agency based in New York - headed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan - founded in 1926 by Pope Pius XI and responsible for supporting the "Near East Christians," from the Middle East to Africa through Northeast India.

Speaking to AsiaNews the Cardinal says: "Hospitality is the main quality that characterizes the people of the Eastern rite, a quality that we should give greater value to here in the West. Proof of this hospitality and love is visible in the refugee camps. But especially, seeing this myriad of refugees and exiles who had to flee from war - I think especially of the Syrians - and the solidarity shown them by their brothers who have very little to offer, is particularly striking".

But the work of the Congregation and of CNEWA is not limited to the Middle East: "I want to send a message of admiration for the Indian Church, a Church which is not restricted in its many limitations, but it has a very strong apostolic zeal. We encourage people to overcome the difficulties to proclaim the Christian message. Now we are working on a way to help the pastoral growth, because the Indian diaspora is a reality to be reckoned with. The Church aims to be close to all of these communities, so that they can keep the faith they have received and that they bring to the West. "

"To help in a concrete way - said the bishop - what can we do? Certainly words of sympathy and closeness are not enough, however sincere they may be. There are concrete actions that can be done in a simple way, such as donations and volunteer work through many active Catholic organizations. In this sense, I want to thank AsiaNews for all the news and information it provides about the situation in the Middle East, but also for its work to raise awareness among our brother and sisters here in Italy".


See also

13/09/2014 MIDDLE EAST
Patriarch Laham: Unity among Muslims and Christians, to save the Arab world
The Greek-catholic patriarch opened the ecumenical conference of In Defense of Christians (IDF, 9-11 September). Arab society "needs all of us and together we can build a better world”. The need to reject being regarded as "the cradle of fundamentalism, violence and terrorism."

14/09/2011 MIDDLE EAST - ITALY
The 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.

Synod for the Middle East: a Message to the People of God
Approved at the end of the synod assemblies, the text (presented here in full) is rich in ideas: the sad political situation in the Middle East, and the fatigue of Churches, emigration and the Diaspora, the desire to build a society with Jews and Muslims based on full equality of citizens, condemnation of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and anti-Christianity, the appeal to the UN and the international community to ensure peace in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, in Lebanon, in Iraq.

Pope: no more war, no more violence, no more injustice in the Holy Land
Benedict XVI recalls his recent visit to the region, an opportunity to bring comfort to the Catholic Community and remind Christians of their “ecumenical and interfaith responsibility”. A thought for the Year for Priests and especially for priests who live "moments of difficulty and trial."

19/06/2008 VATICAN
May the Middle East be offered its much-longed-for peace, stability and religious freedom, says Pope
In his address to the participants of the ROACO assembly, Benedict XVI speaks of his closeness to and solidarity with Eastern Catholic Churches and of the “signs of hope” that are visible in the Holy Land.

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