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Synod:  The Pope urges to pray for peace in the Middle East

Synod: The Pope urges to pray for peace in the Middle East

ROME: Cardinals, Bishops, Patriarchs, laymen from all over the world are now gathering in Rome where the second session of the Synod on the Family is being held since October 5, 2015.  In their presence the Holy Father sent forth on Friday morning a call for peace in the Middle East.

An intensive first week has just been completed for the Synod Fathers, among general congregations and linguistic smaller circles.  A first synthesis of works held within these groups was submitted this morning, in the great auditorium hall, in presence of Pope Francis.  The latter during the morning prayers called on the Synod assembly to pray for peace in the Middle East.

Distress of Pope Francis

The Holy Father affirms that he follows with “pain” and “deep concern” events happening in Syria, Iraq, The West Bank and Jerusalem.  “We are observing a rising circle of violence involving civilians and innocent people, which keeps fuelling a humanitarian crisis of a tremendous dimension”, he said with a moved face.

“War leads to destruction; it exacerbates the suffering of mankind.  Hope and progress can be brought about only through an option of peace” Pope Francis further said, calling for “a fervent and  confident prayer”  which should be “an expression of closeness regarding Patriarchs and Bishops of this area” who are  attending the Synod, one of them being H. B. Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.  The latter, in an interview with Radio Vatican, said he was thankful to the Holy Father for this call, but regrets the lack of “good political will” on the side of the various parties involved.  “Only a good policy, well balanced, fair, serene could resolve the situation”.  According to the Patriarch, the present policy remains “deaf” to the appeals of Christian communities which are not taken into consideration.

Families of the Middle East

The explosive situation which prevails in the region is being often discussed among Synod fathers, said H. B. Fouad Twal, who came mainly to speak about realities lived by the families in the Middle East. “I regularly speak in session of smaller circles, he further said, for our challenges are different from those known in Europe and in the West.  There is a certain interest for what we are living, and I believe that our presence at this Synod is a rich experience”.

“We however feel our limits, said the Patriarch, for it seems difficult to change the sad situation which the families of the Middle East live in.  We cannot alone tackle the different issues, whether political, economic and social, which weigh heavy over us”, without omitting to refer to families fleeing away from the conflicts in Syria and in Iraq, who are now concentrated inside refugee camps, where there is no legislation or protection of families and children.

The Synod for the family, a major church event, closely followed by media, will end on October 23,2015.  Over three weeks the Synod Fathers coming from all over the world will tackle challenges of the family in  the context of the New Evangelization.

Manuella Affejee