Category Archives: Eastern Church

Pope prays for Iraq’s true re-birth

Since Sunday how could our hearts not be moved by the dirty killing of 58 and wounding of countless others in Our Lady of Salvation Church (a Syrian Catholic Church in Baghdad)? How could we not have heavy hearts and mournful spirits at the news of villainous actions toward others, especially those at prayer? Our brothers and sisters in the faith, among them 2 priests –who brought Christ to us– were bruttally murdered by Muslim extremists.

We pray for the eternal rest of the dead, healing of the ill and forgiveness of the perpetrators. That’s what the Lord would do, I am convinced. This is what we are asked to do by the Pope. Indeed, we pray for peace and re-birth in Christ.

Let’s pray for Chaldean Cardinal and Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly, the other bishops of Iraq with the priests, deacons, sub-deacons and laity.

The Holy Father has spoken out in the last days and he does so again. Read his remarks here.

Catholics killed by Al Qaeda Muslims

Catholics in Our
Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad were held hostage and some killed and
wounded by a group of Al Qaeda militants. The siege tragically ended in death
when Iraqi security forces raided the church in order to free the faithful
being held inside.

During his All Saints Angelus address today in Rome, Pope
Benedict said, “Last night, in a very serious attack on the Syrian Catholic
Cathedral in Baghdad, dozens of people were killed and wounded, including two
priests and a group of faithful gathered for Sunday Mass.”

Benedict continued, “I
pray for the victims of this senseless violence, all the more ferocious as it
affected defenseless civilians, this closeness to the martyred Christian
community, targeted yet again by terrorists, and encouraged all pastors and
faithful to be strong and firm in hope.”

“Faced with the brutal violence that
continues to tear the peoples of the Middle East apart,” Pope Benedict ended the Angelus talk by saying: “I renew
my appeal for peace: it is God’s gift
, but it is also the result of the efforts
of men of good will, national and international institutions. We must all join
forces to ensure an end to all violence!”

7 killed, many more wounded in Syrian Catholic Church, Baghdad

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.

Synod of Bishops for the Middle East submit propositions to Pope for his consideration

eastern bishops.jpgThe bishops at the Synod of Bishops for the Middle
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 list of the 44 propositions given to the Pope are listed here.
You can follow the entire Synod here.

Communion & Liberation sponsors discussion on peace in the Middle East

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.

Pray for peace!

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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