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Christians are not foreigners in the Middle East

· Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches renews the Pope’s appeals ·

“Violence must be overcome by peace”. This was the invocation of Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, who, from the United States of America renewed the repeated appeals of Pope Francis for persecuted Christians and for an end to hostilities in the various areas of the Middle East which are bloodied by conflicts.

The Cardinal was invited to Los Angeles by the local Lebanese community to celebrate the Feast of Saints Charbel and Elias on Sunday, 20 July, in the Maronite Cathedral. Addressing the nearly 400 faithful present, Cardinal Sandri expressed his own sorrow for the desperate fate of so many innocent people, particularly for the Christians of Mossul, Iraq, and of Aleppo, Syria. “Their houses and churches”, he recalled, “have been pillaged and burnt”.

But “while today they are the most threatened”, the entire area finds itself “in the insecurity that is unfortunately fostered by widespread indifference”. Let us think of the Holy Land, from where there continues to be disconcerting news of escalating violence. In this regard the Cardinal spoke of a Palestine “in tears”, whose residents are not able to be persons and Christians “in peace and dignity. Their tears are ours”, he added, “but we share the same hope which is Christ; and Jesus Christ is faithful. For this reason we must persevere together on the same journey”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 17, 2018

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