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24 October 2017

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01/30/2015 VATICAN

Pope feels "dismay and deep sadness at what is happening in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria"

In a meeting with the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, Francis prays "for a negotiated solution" to this "immense tragedy".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis spoke again about his "dismay and deep sadness at what is happening in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria," and renewed his prayer "for a negotiated solution". He did so this morning at the meeting of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

After noting that "In the last ten years the Commission has examined from an historical perspective the ways in which the Churches expressed their communion in the early centuries, and what this can mean for our pursuit of communion today," the Holy Father noted that "At this time we especially feel dismay and deep sadness at what is happening in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria."

His thoughts went especially to "all those living in the region, including our Christian brothers and sisters, and many minorities, who are experiencing the effects of a prolonged and painful conflict. I join you in praying for a negotiated solution and in imploring God's goodness and mercy upon all those affected by this immense tragedy."

For the pontiff, "All Christians are called to work together, in mutual acceptance and trust, in order to serve the cause of peace and justice. May the intercession and example of the many martyrs and saints who have borne courageous witness to Christ in all our Churches sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities."

Last Sunday, during the second Vespers of the Solemnity of the Conversion of Saint Paul, at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Pope Francis had already spoken about the need for the various traditions to work together. On that occasion, he reminded everyone that today "many Christians are persecuted and killed without distinction of confession."

As a sign for Christians to overcome their divisions, Francis had already mentioned the "ecumenism of the blood" in the past. In May 2014, during his meeting with Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, he noted that "the sufferings endured by Christians in these last decades have made a unique and invaluable contribution to the unity of Christ's disciples. As in the ancient Church, the blood of the martyrs became the seed of new Christians. So too in our time the blood of innumerable Christians has become a seed of unity."






See also

19/10/2009 VATICAN - ORTHODOX
Metropolitan Zizoulas: Defend ecumenical dialogue against those who oppose it
The second meeting for dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, taking place in Cyprus, sees strong protest and progress at a standstill for fear of "subjugating the Orthodox to the Pope in Rome." Even among Catholics there is dogmatic resistance. A call to all from Johannes Zizoulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon, tenacious advocate of the value of dialogue.

19/06/2015 VATICAN
For pope, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East strengthens bonds between the Catholic and Syro-Orthodox Churches
This morning’s Vatican meeting between Francis and Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East focused on "The blood of the martyrs" as the "seed of unity of the Church". Bemoaning “So much suffering! So many innocent victims,” the pontiff added that “In the face of all this, it seems that the powers of this world are incapable of finding solutions.”

07/06/2014 ORTHODOX - VATICAN
Bartholomew: Christians united, real catalysts for peace in the Middle East
The Ecumenical Patriarch arrives today in Rome to take part in the prayer meeting with Pope Francis, Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas. The scope of the prayer meeting goes beyond immediate results.

25/01/2013 VATICAN
Pope: peace through dialogue for Holy Land and the Christians who live there
Benedict XVI meets with members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The progress made in 10 years of work. " All Christians need to work together in mutual acceptance and trust in serving the cause of peace and justice in fidelity to the Lord’s will."

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".


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