2010-10-07 14:29:54

Spotlight on Gulf States

Participants in the Synod of Bishops on the Middle East have begun arriving here in Rome for the two week gathering that will focus on the key questions of ‘Communion and Witness’ of the Churches across the region today.
The meeting, which opens with Mass presided over by Pope Benedict on Sunday, will throw the spotlight on these countries where Christians mostly live as a tiny minority and where many are fleeing from conflict, discrimination or economic hardship.
But the synod will also look at countries like the Gulf States, where Christians are arriving in large numbers from developing countries in particular, looking for work and bringing a new vitality to this minority Church.
Bishop Paul Hinder is in charge of those Roman Catholic communities in six Gulf States – Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

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“We have to look forward – of course we have to look at the history but we must not only look at the traditions and the wounds of the past……”

“If we succeed in bringing the variety and the different colours of the Church in the Middle East…. if we succeed in bringing this witness of communion and of truly Gospel oriented life, then I think we have done our job.”

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