Rome 21-22 September

Two days of meetings were held in the Headquarters of the Bishops' Synod in Rome to prepare the Synod for the Middle East previously announced (on 19 September) by the Holy Father, to be held in Rome between 10-24 October, 2010.

These meetings presented an opportunity to make a brief but comprehensive review of the socio-politico-religious situation in the Middle East, in order to prepare the main topics (Lineamenta) to be dealt with in the coming Synod.

An Audience with the Holy Father was on the agenda for the morning of Monday 21 September.

Participating in the first meeting of the Presynodal Council were:

1. H. B. Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites

2. H. B. Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans

3. H. E. Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples

4. H. E. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

5. H. E. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

6. H. E. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches

7. H. B. Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts

8. H. B. Gregorios III Laham B.S., Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkite Greeks

9. H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians

10. H. B. Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins

11. H. Ex. Mgr. Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Archbishop of Takrit of the Syrians, Procurator and Apostolic Visitor for Western Europe

12. H. Ex. Mgr. Ramzi Garmou, Archbishop of Teheran of the Chaldeans, President of the Episcopal Conference  of Iran

13. H. Ex. Mgr. Luigi Padovese O.F.M. cap., Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, Titular Bishop of Monteverde, President of the Episcopal Conference of Turkey

Observer: Rev. Mgr. Alberto Ortega Martín, Counsellor of Nunciature of Second Class, Second Section, Secretary of State

Expert: Rev. Dr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J., Professor

Members of the Pre-synodal Council for the Middle East for the whole year are the following:

1. H. B. Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites

2. H. B. Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans

3. H. E. Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples

4. H. E. Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

5. H. E. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

6. H. E. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches

7. H. B. Antonios Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts

8. H. B. Ignatius Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians

9. H. B. Gregorios III Laham B.S., Patriarch of Antioch of the Melkite Greeks

10. H. B. Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians

11. H. B. Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins

12. H. Ex. Mgr. Ramzi Garmou, Archbishop of Teheran of the Chaldeans, President of the Episcopal Conference  of Iran

13. H. Ex. Mgr. Luigi Padovese O.F.M. cap., Apostolic Vicar of Anatolia, Titular Bishop of Monteverde, President of the Episcopal Conference of Turkey

N. B.: H. B. Ignatius Youssif III Younan has designated H.Ex. Mgr. Jules Mikhael Al-Jamil, Archbishop of Takrit, Procurator and Apostolic Visitor for Western Europe to be his substitute.

Patriarchal Secretariat

Of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church


Teachings of Christ

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

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (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.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

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

"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

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa