CWN - Pope Francis visited the Pontifical Oriental Institute on October 12, for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of its founding.

The Pope met with students, faculty, and staff of the Oriental Institute, then proceeded to the basilica of St. Mary Major (which is just across a piazza from the Institute), where he presided at a Mass of thanksiving. In his homily the Holy Father recalled that the Institute was established by Pope Benedict XV at a time when World War I was shaking Europe. He praised the achievements of the Institute in encouraging greater understanding of the traditions of Eastern Christianity.

In a message to Cardinal Leonardo Sandri—who is the chancellor of the Oriental Institute as well as the prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches—the Pope urged all teachers to “remain open to the Oriental churches, considered not only in terms of their ancient configuration, but also in their current diffusion and at times troubled geographical spread.” He said that the Oriental Institute still has “an ecumencial mission to pursue,” seeking full communion with all of the Eastern churches.

“On the other hand,” the Pope continued, “the task of the Institute is also to make know the treasures of the rich traditions of the Oriental churches to the Western world.” He continued:

With the collapse of the totalitarian regimes and of various dictatorships, which in some countries has unfortunately created conditions favourable to the spread of international terrorism, the Christians of the Oriental churches are experiencing the tragedy of persecutions and an increasingly worrying diaspora. We cannot close our eyes to these situations.

The Pope said that Catholic bishops of the Latin-rite dioceses around the world should be aware of the pastoral needs of “the geographically dislocated oriental faithful without their own hierarchy.”

 
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“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 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)

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Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Good and God-loving men accuse people of something bad when they are present, but when they are absent they not only refrain from accusing them, but do not permit others to do so when they attempt to speak of them.

From St. Anthony the Great (170 Texts on Saintly Life no. 30) REF: Fr. Seraphim Rose, "Letters"