CWN - The Catholic-Orthodox Forum, which allows for discussion between Catholic and Orthodox prelates on life, marriage, family, and other social issues, recently held its fifth meeting since 2008.

The meeting, which took place in Paris, was devoted to “Europe in fear of the threat from fundamentalist terrorism, and the value of human person and religious freedom.” In a joint statement following the meeting, the prelates reflected on the relationship between Islam and terrorism.

“There is no question of stigmatizing the religion of Islam,” they said. “We observe, with Muslim leaders themselves, that some terrorists justify their action from the sacred texts of Islam.”

The Catholic and Orthodox prelates added:

It has been suggested that radicalisation has become Islamised, rather than the opposite. We believe that some narratives of Islamic history and experience have reinforced the spirit of these young people with a vision of hatred and rejection of the other … We call on Muslim religious authorities to ensure that there is no propagation of a systematically hostile image of the non-Muslim world.

The prelates’ statement touched on several other topics, including the current “unprecedented waves of migration.”

“We believe that welcoming foreigners is a paramount human and Christian duty,” the statement continued. “However, immigration must also take into account what is actually feasible in the host countries … The key word for immigrants is integration.”

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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)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus