Pope to meet with Middle Eastern bishops

Pope Benedict  announced  on Saturday that he is going to hold a special meeting next year of Roman Catholic bishops to discuss the concerns and challenges of the Church in the Middle East.

Speaking with a visiting group of Middle Eastern bishops at Castelgandolfo,  Pope Benedict said the two-week synod will take place in October 2010.

During the meeting the patriarchs presented the Pope with a note underlining four points of major concern to Christians in the region: the growth of fundamentalism in the Middle East, the declining population of Christians, the importance of Muslim-Christian dialogue, the position of the Oriental Catholic Patriarch in the universal church and the ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Kuwait and in the gulf countries.

The proposal for an special assembly of the synod for the Middle East was made to the Pope last January by the Iraqi bishop Louis Sako, who expressed concern over  the continuous exodus of Christians from the Middle East, especially from Holy Land, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon;  the problem of those who have emigrated and of a pastoral that helps his integration.; the presence of Christians in the social, cultural, religious and political fields and the education of the Christians so that they can fight for their rights on a political, social and cultural level.

Source: Fides/AsiaNews

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