CWN - Addressing participants in the assembly of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), Pope Francis compared restoration work on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to the situation of the Eastern Catholic churches.
“Our work must unfailingly be guided by the certainty that, beneath material and moral incrustations, and the tears and bloodshed caused by war, violence and persecution, beneath this apparently impenetrable cover there is a radiant face like that of the angel in the mosaic,” he said on June 16. “All of you, with your projects and your activities, are part of a ‘restoration’ that will enable the face of the Church to reflect visibly the light of Christ the Word Incarnate.”
The Pope also called for greater “communion in witness” between the Latin-rite and Eastern Catholics in India:
It is a sign of hope that, following the indications set out by my Predecessors, progress can be made in respect for the proper rights of each, without a spirit of division, but rather fostering communion in witness to the one Savior, Jesus Christ. That communion, in all those parts of the world where Latin and Eastern Catholics live side by side, needs the spiritual riches of East and West as a source from which coming generations of priests, men and women religious, and pastoral workers can draw.