Deisis (Novogorod)

First Meeting of the Presynodal Council for the Middle East

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

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

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

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Even a pious person is not immune to spiritual sickness if he does not have a wise guide -- either a living person or a spiritual writer. This sickness is called _prelest_, or spiritual delusion, imagining oneself to be near to God and to the realm of the divine and supernatural. Even zealous ascetics in monasteries are sometimes subject to this delusion, but of course, laymen who are zealous in external struggles (podvigi) undergo it much more frequently. Surpassing their acquaintances in struggles of prayer and fasting, they imagine that they are seers of divine visions, or at least of dreams inspired by grace. In every event of their lives, they see special intentional directions from God or their guardian angel. And then they start imagining that they are God's elect, and often try to foretell the future. The Holy Fathers armed themselves against nothing so fiercely as against this sickness -- prelest.

Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky