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19 February 2018

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10/02/2014 VATICAN

Pope: nothing justifies the suffering imposed on Christians in the Middle East

In his meeting with Mar Dinkha IV, patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Francis slammed the "daily persecution" of Christians and members of other religious minorities. The patriarch's visit "is another step on the way towards a growing closeness and spiritual communion between us, after the bitter misunderstandings of the past centuries."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "There are no religious reasons, political or economic conditions that can justify what is happening to hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children" who face "daily persecution" in the Middle East just because they are Christian or members of other religious minorities," said Pope Francis as he greeted Mar Dinkha IV, patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East (pictured), this morning in the Vatican.

The Holy Father spoke to the leader of a Church that has about 400,000 members, many of whom have immigrated to America, about the persecution of religious minorities as well as the way towards unity between Catholics and members of the Assyrian Church of the East.

"Our meeting," the pope said, "is marked by the suffering we share over the wars that are going on in different regions of the Middle East; in particular, the violence that Christians and members of other religious minorities are subjected to, especially in Iraq and Syria.

"Many of our brothers and sisters are suffering daily persecution! When we think about their suffering, it is natural to go beyond the distinctions of ritual and confession. In them, there is the body of Christ that even today is hurt, stricken, [and] humiliated."

"There are no religious reasons, political or economic conditions that may justify what is happening to hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children. We feel deeply united in intercessory prayer and action of charity towards those members of the body of Christ who are suffering."

The Pope went on to say that the patriarch's visit "is another step on the way towards a growing closeness and spiritual communion between us, after the bitter misunderstandings of the past centuries."

"Already twenty years ago," he added, "the joint Christological Declaration signed by you and by my predecessor, Saint Pope John Paul II, was a milestone in our journey towards full communion. With it we recognised that we profess the same faith of the Apostles, the faith in the divinity and humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ, united in one person, without confusion or change, without division or separation."

"I accompany with prayer," he said in concluding, "the work of the Mixed Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, so that through it we may approach the blessed day when we celebrate on the same altar the sacrifice of praise, which will make us one in Christ."






See also

19/11/2013 MIDDLE EAST - VATICAN
Eastern Patriarchs to meet pope to discuss the future of Christians in the Middle East
The meeting, which will run from today to Friday, is set to focus on the Eastern churches in the 50 years since Vatican II. Eastern patriarchs will talked to the Pope about the plight of Christians in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. The prelates will also discuss the relationship with Orthodox Churches and the problem of the exodus of Christians from the region.

03/10/2013 MIDDLE EAST - VATICAN
Patriarch Youhanna of Antioch: The encounter with Pope Francis was warm and historic
Between September 26 and October 1 the pontifex met Greek Orthodox Patriarch: "Together against the crises afflicting the Mashreq countries".

12/02/2018 14:34:00 VATICAN
Pope: patience, virtue of those who are persecuted, like Christians in the Middle East

Unlike "defeat" and "resignation", Christian patience is the "virtue" of "those on a journey". "And when you go on a journey, many things happen that are not always good. The attitude of parents when a sick or disabled child is born, tells me so much about patience on the journey. 'But thank God he is alive!': These are the patient people".



20/10/2014 VATICAN
Pope: We cannot resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians
Many of our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and have had to leave their homes in a brutal way" and "in the general indifference of so many". Cardinal Pietro Parolin: international community must respond to the terrorism of the Islamic State with a negotiated solution to all the problems in the Middle East, starting from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

27/08/2014 LEBANON- MIDDLE EAST
Patriarchs meet with ambassadors in Bkerke to save the East and its Christians
A letter to the Heads of State of the Western and the Arab worlds in preparation calling on them to put a stop the massacre of Christians and minorities in Iraq and Syria. The delay in the election of the President in Lebanon also of grave concern.


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