Rome: Archbishop Kelly meets Middle East Church leaders

 Archbishop Patrick Kelly last night in Rome hosted a reception in honour of the presence and mission of the Church in the Middle East. The reception, held in the Venerable English College, was attended by those Middle Eastern bishops present at the Synod on the Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church and celebrated the solidarity between the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and the bishops of the Holy Land, Iraq, Iran and Lebanon.

Amongst those attending were the Patriarch of Babylon Emmanuel III Cardinal Delly, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Fouad Twal and the Chaldean Archbishop of Tehran His Grace Ramzi Garmou along with Bishop William Kenney CP and Bishop David McGough and the staff and students of the English College led by Mgr Nicholas Hudson.

Archbishop Kelly pointed out the pressures facing the Church throughout the region, and particularly the violence being inflicted on the Christian community in Mosul. During his speech he said: " keep us true to the Incarnation we need our sisters and brothers across the whole Middle East. This evening the rest of us thank God for you, the living stones, we rejoice to know you and promise to accompany you."

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales works in solidarity with the Christians of the region and organises the Holy Land Coordination. Bishops and Episcopal representatives from European and North American countries meet every January in the Holy Land with the aim of acting in solidarity with the Christian community there and sharing in the pastoral life of the local Church.

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