Eastern Church: October 2010 Archives
The Church in Baghdad has faced another crisis with the murder of 7 and wounding of many more during the Divine Liturgy in Baghdad today. Reports seem to conflict: as many as 47 are reported dead including 2 priests.
Read the Zenit report: 7 killed in Syrian Catholic Church Baghdad.pdf
The BBC Middle East report
The RTE News report
The UK Guardian report
The bishops at the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East have given the Holy Father the following propositions for his consideration and perhaps for him to act on when he issues a post-synodal document. The Synod is now closed and the bishops are on their way home and now it's time for the Pope and his consultors to do some heavy lifting. The publication of the propositions was approved by the Pope, though they remain unofficial. Some of the propositions are formal, pro-forma and many are so boring that watching the grass grow is fun.
There's a lot boiler plate or what I take to be normal, e.g., financial transparency, providing information in Arabic, being hospitable to immigrants, listening to youth, etc. Also, what've given here you can get a sense of what the churches face in their situation. What's evident to a Westerner is that our context in North America is a bit more advanced, dare I say, than the situation many Middle Eastern Christians face. We already have experience of good education, dialogue, fruitful collaboration with other faiths, developed canonical processes. The propositions do raise the point of concern for our sisters and brothers who are Christians in the Middle East.
What is missing is the consideration for a common date for Easter and a better awareness of the role of the sacred Liturgy in the life of the churches.
The Fraternity of Communion and Liberation sponsored a forum in which the Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches attended and spoke about matter pertaining to peace-building in the Middle East. Notable in attendance were the Mayor of Rome and Italy's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Patriarch Gregory of the Melkites, one of the most out-spoken Catholic patriarchs, said that if the international community could create the State of Israel it should also work for peace there. The conflicts in Israel and Palestine are destroying the fabric of peace, culture and family. Freedoms are of religion and conscience are not universally respected in all the countries of the Middle East. It was noted that Saudi Arabia gives no freedom of worship and conscience to their inhabitants.
Watch the video clip
Pray for peace!