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

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

If you want, or rather intend, to take a splinter out of another person, then do not hack at it with a stick instead of a lancet, for you will only drive it in deeper. And this is a stick – rude speech and rough gestures. And this is a lancet – tempered instruction and patient reprimand. “Reprove,” says the Apostle, “rebuke, exhort,” but he did not say “beat” (2 Timothy 4:2). And if even this is required, do it rarely, and not with your own hand.

St. John Climacus, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent", Step 8, On Freedom From Anger and On Meekness