2010-07-23 16:42:29

Unity of Eastern Churches the Priority for October Synod

(23 July 10 – RV)  The Synod on the Churches of the Middle East to be held in the Vatican in October will be an opportunity to shed light on the situation of the Eastern Church, in its multiple realities - Armenian, Greek orthodox, Greek Catholic. Present in several states, these Churches face many challenges.

Mgr. Rafael Minassian, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarch of the Church of Jerusalem:

“It is true that these countries declare themselves democratic - there is freedom of expression, of religion and so forth - but in reality there are many difficulties. Difficulties in coexistence, in our expression of Christianity that still exist between nations. The relentless exodus of faithful is a cause of great suffering, mostly caused by this lack of freedom of expression and religion. Especially in Turkey - as well as in all other Muslim countries - this problem persists: we are not well accepted politically, socially or by other religious.

Q. - What can the Eastern Church give to the universal Church?

“The Synod of the Eastern Church – a Synod which was an initiative of His Holiness – will address some very important issues. The first is: how can we live the Christian faith in this land where there is social and political oppression? Second: how can we persuade our people to stay in the East? Working on migration, during this synod we will look for a solution to reassure the faithful, despite all the social and political problems. We must ensure that we can be confident in the expression of the growth of the Christian faith. So we can also be witnesses to all those who are not Christian. This is our mission. Moreover - and this is even more important - try to find cooperation, collaboration and unity even in diversity, as stated in the Instrumentum Laboris. If we could achieve this first step of unity, respecting each other, working together in these countries of the East, then the Synod will already be 50 percent successful”.

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