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

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Abbot Macarius was asked: "How should I pray?" The staretz answered: "There is no need to waste time with words; it is enough to hold out your hands and say: 'Lord, have mercy.'  If you are hard pressed in the struggle, say: 'Lord, save me!' He knows what is best for you, and he will have mercy on you."

Abbot Macarius, quoted in St. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality, Meyendorff, 1974, SVS Press