Rome – The leaders of the great powers and rulers of Iraq must “hasten the release of Mosul and Nineveh Plain” from the jihadists of the Islamic State, so that the refugees who fled from those lands can return to live in their own homes in peace and security. This is how the appeal in the document begins, released by the Syro-Catholic Bishops at the end of their annual Synod, held in Rome from 8 to 10 December, under the presidency of His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians. The summary of the Synod text, divided into 9 points, expresses expectations, considerations and projects of the pastors of the Catholic Church of the Eastern Rite with regards to the problems experienced by the peoples of the Middle East, with particular reference to the difficulties and suffering faced by local Christian communities.
The Syro-Catholic Bishops express great satisfaction regarding the final declaration of the Conference on terrorism held last week at the Sunni University of Azhar, which strongly reaffirmed the need to safeguard the fraternal coexistence between Christians and Muslims in Arab Countries and protect their full equality at a social and civil level.
In the document, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Syro-Catholic Bishops ask to give practical application to the principles expressed in the Declaration of al-Azhar, calling on governments to reconsider policies on the different religious and ethnic components, and also recalling the educational institutions to revise school curricula in order to purify them from any discriminatory content against non-Muslim communities.
In their ruling, among other things, the Syro-Catholic Bishops also reaffirm the right of Palestinians to establish their own independent state, and announce the creation of an ad hoc committee appointed to intensify ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox Christian Syrians. The Syro-Catholic Bishops also express their full support for the proposal – also recently relaunched by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II – to establish a date for the celebration of Easter that is shared by all the Churches and Christian communities.
By: Agenzia Fides