The Synod of the Bishops for the Middle East : Opening of the Synod

Source: FSSPX News

The first Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, held at the Vatican from October 10-24, was a meeting of representatives from the seven Eastern Catholic Churches on the topic: The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and Witness. “Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul(Acts 4:32).

Opening of the Synod

On October 10, Benedict XVI presided at the Mass concelebrated with the Synod Fathers in the Vatican Basilica.  During his homily the pope recalled that the objective of this synod was “mainly a pastoral one”, while recognizing that “the pastors of the Middle Eastern Churches,” meeting for two weeks at the Vatican, could not “ignore the delicate and at times dramatic social and political situation of some countries”.

The pope called on the international community, as well as the three great monotheistic religions—Jewish, Christian and Muslim—“to make their personal contribution” to peace in the Middle East.  “The international community” was invited to support “a stable path, loyal and constructive, towards peace”.  As for the “most prevalent religions in the region”, they were exhorted to promote “the spiritual and cultural values that unite men and women and exclude every expression of violence”.

Benedict XVI also emphasized that this synod would be an occasion “for constructively continuing the dialogue with the Jews, to whom we are tied by an indissoluble bond, the lengthy history of the Covenant, and with the Muslims”.

Special Synod of the Bishops for the Middle East :

An ayatollah at the Synod
Presentation of the Synod
Report from Rabbi David Rosen
Intervention of the Shiite ayatollah Seyyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad
A Lebanese bishop vigorously denounces the Koran
The final message of the Synod Fathers
The synod’s final propositions
The close of the Synod