Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, asked the participants in the meeting of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA), which ended Friday, 18 January, to rediscover faith in charitable work. The Cardinal celebrated a morning Mass at the tomb of the Apostle Peter in the Vatican Grottoes, before the end of the meeting in the afternoon.
Earlier Msgr. John E. Kozar, Secretary General of CNEWA, had outlined a broad and detailed picture of the Association’s charitable activity, recalling above all the plight of several peoples that benefit from aid: the poor of Gaza who seek to keep a glimmer of hope alive; the more than a million poor people of Gaza who have fled the country because of persecution, the Coptic families in Egypt in need of jobs; the Syrians who aspire to peace.
After recalling that CNEWA, together with the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, is involved in helping the ecclesial communities in the area – also through schools that are open to all in the most out of the way places, assistance to abandoned children and elderly people alone in the world, to the sick and to the victims of civil wars, to seminarians and novices – the Prelate emphasized that collaboration with the Dicastery is extended to various countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Israel and Palestine. Outside the Middle East, CNEWA is active and supports the Eastern Churches in Eritrea, India, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine and Ethiopia. Wherever, the speaker said, Eastern Churches “are suffering and ask our help, CNEWA responds, in collaboration with the Congregation”.