by Laura Badaracco for Romasette
25 November 2010

 
A series of meetings with experts at the Cultural Centre of via della Greca,
with the object of promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue


A series of conferences to raise awareness of the Eastern Christian heritage, called The Churches of the Middle East: identity, testimony and dialogue, a series of meetings, with free entry and on a monthly basis, - will be held at the headquarters of the Cultural Centre Bocca della Verità, at 3 via della Greca starting this afternoon, November 25. "Various scholars and experts will be describing a journey into the rich heritage of ecclesiastical traditions of the East," anticipates Naman Tarcha, manager of the Centre, opened in the monumental complex of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.

"Our main objective is the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue,” underlines Archim. Mtanios Haddad, director of the Centre. “In this context, we have decided to promote knowledge of Arab culture, protecting and enhancing the cultural, artistic and historical heritage of the Middle East, making it alive in relation to the changes and challenges of the present, focusing at all levels on the formation and development of the person."

In a series of meetings and in its other cultural initiatives, the Centre "seeks to be a bridge between the two shores of the Mediterranean, for the rediscovery of a world that often seems so close but far away, where every stone has a story to tell, but especially where the dialogue between peoples is based on mutual respect, justice and peace," notes Tarcha. He adds: "We would like to tell people about this rich, colourful mosaic of the Middle East, where peoples, ethnicities and religions have lived together forever."

 The series of conferences, therefore, is accompanied by a full programme of activities: courses in Arabic and Italian language and culture, Byzantine choral chant (from 27 November, every Saturday afternoon from 4p.m - 5p.m.) and individual violin, mosaics and iconography.

The lecture series begins today at 5. 30.m.,  with "The Ethiopian Church," described by Fr. Groum Tesfaye, S. J., of the Philosophical and Theological Institute in Addis Ababa. On 16 December, at 5p.m., the reality of the Chaldean Church will be illustrated by Msgr. Pierre Yousif, of the Parisian Centre Eglise d'Orient, while Don George Jahola, of the Roman College of St. Ephrem will present the Syro-Antiochian Church on January 20, 2011 at the same hour.

A month later, on February 20, Fr. Augustin Mouhanna – of the Université Saint-Esprit of Kaslik, Lebanon - will reveal the characteristics of the Maronite Church, while to explain the spread of the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Church there will be Fr. Jacov Kulić, of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, speaking on March 17, followed on 31 by Fr. Germano Marani, S. J., a lecturer at the same university, talking about the Byzantine Church.

On April 14, Msgr. Mtanios Haddad, Apocrisary in Rome of H. B. Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, will give a talk about the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. The last two meetings will be confined to May - 5 and 19 respectively: the first, on the Coptic Church, will be led by Fr. Mamdouh Chehab Bassilios, friar and professor at the Centre Franciscain d'Etudes orientales chrétiennes in Cairo; the second will be led by Fr. Boghos Zekiyan, from the Venetian University Ca 'Cappello, Venice, on the topic of the Armenian Church. To complete the cycle, there will be a concert of sacred music of the Christian East, with the participation of choirs formed from the different Eastern churches present in the capital.

For more information, www.centroboccadellaverita.com    

http://www.romasette.it/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6523&keywords=santa+maria+cosmedin

Translated from the Italian

V.C.


Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it. Rather, fortified and protected by the light of faith, let us with great courage say to the spirit of evil: "What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head." 

St. Seraphim of Sarov