Rome 21-22 September

Two days of meetings were held in the Headquarters of the Bishops' Synod in Rome to prepare the Synod for the Middle East previously announced (on 19 September) by the Holy Father, to be held in Rome between 10-24 October, 2010.

These meetings presented an opportunity to make a brief but comprehensive review of the socio-politico-religious situation in the Middle East, in order to prepare the main topics (Lineamenta) to be dealt with in the coming Synod.

An Audience with the Holy Father was on the agenda for the morning of Monday 21 September.

Participating in the first meeting of the Presynodal Council were:

1. H. B. Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites

2. H. B. Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans

3. H. E. Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples

4. H. E. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

5. H. E. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

6. H. E. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches

7. H. B. Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts

8. H. B. Gregorios III Laham B.S., Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkite Greeks

9. H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians

10. H. B. Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins

11. H. Ex. Mgr. Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Archbishop of Takrit of the Syrians, Procurator and Apostolic Visitor for Western Europe

12. H. Ex. Mgr. Ramzi Garmou, Archbishop of Teheran of the Chaldeans, President of the Episcopal Conference  of Iran

13. H. Ex. Mgr. Luigi Padovese O.F.M. cap., Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, Titular Bishop of Monteverde, President of the Episcopal Conference of Turkey

Observer: Rev. Mgr. Alberto Ortega Martín, Counsellor of Nunciature of Second Class, Second Section, Secretary of State

Expert: Rev. Dr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., Professor

Members of the Pre-synodal Council for the Middle East for the whole year are the following:

1. H. B. Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites

2. H. B. Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans

3. H. E. Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples

4. H. E. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

5. H. E. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

6. H. E. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches

7. H. B. Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts

8. H. B. Ignatius Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians

9. H. B. Gregorios III Laham B.S., Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkite Greeks

10. H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians

11. H. B. Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins

12. H. Ex. Mgr. Ramzi Garmou, Archbishop of Teheran of the Chaldeans, President of the Episcopal Conference  of Iran

13. H. Ex. Mgr. Luigi Padovese O.F.M. cap., Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, Titular Bishop of Monteverde, President of the Episcopal Conference of Turkey

N. B.: H. B. Ignatius Youssif III Younan has designated H.Ex. Mgr. Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Archbishop of Takrit, Procurator and Apostolic Visitor for Western Europe to be his substitute.

Patriarchal Secretariat

Of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church


Teachings of Christ

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"'And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: `Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'"

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (190 AD), Fragment 34