Jerusalem Patriarch Meets With Pope on Mideast Situation

ROME, OCT. 14, 2011- “I think it is always good to be together, to pray together, to listen together.”

These were the words of Foaud Twal, speaking to Vatican Radio in his role as president of the Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Region, after he had a private meeting with Benedict XVI on Thursday.

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem was among several bishops of the region completing a three-day conference at the Vatican.

“Each bishop came here with his problems and his hopes and his aspirations” for his “country and Church,” he said.

“We … have something in common in all the Middle East,” the patriarch added.

He and the Pontiff discussed the “fear of our Christians in Egypt” as well as the problems of emigration, “the freedom of movement of our Christians,” and the question of Syria.

Archbishop Twal also said the two discussed the Pope’s desire that they prepare themselves for the upcoming Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland, and next year’s synod on the new evangelization.

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