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

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 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

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our Lord Jesus Christ..., who came to liberate mankind, in which both males and females are destined to salvation, was not adverse to males, for He took the form of a male, nor to females, for of a female He was born. Besides, there is a great mystery here: that just as death comes to us through a woman, Life is born to us through a woman; that the devil - defeated - would be tormented by each nature, feminine and masculine, since he had taken delight in the defection of both.

St. Augustine of Hippo, Ca. A.D. 397, Christian Combat 22, 24 in The Faith of the Early Fathers (Jurgens, Liturgical Press) 3:50, no. 1578