Meeting at Aleppo
15-17 November 2010


The Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy in Syria met at Aleppo under the presidency of Patriarch Gregorios III of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, to discuss matters arising from the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops in Rome.

The Assembly was first concerned with the problems of Caritas trying to deal with the difficulties of Iraqi refugees in Syria.

It went on to consider the matter of the personal statute in legislation.

The Assembly also discussed the Syrian President's initiative to hold an international Christian-Muslim Congress in December 2010 to examine the impact of the Synod's recommendations on Middle Eastern countries.

The Assembly also discussed the date of Pascha, when next year (as this year) once again Eastern and Western calendars coincide. There was a desire among the participants to continue to work, in order to have in future unified Christian witness in the Middle East's predominantly Muslim countries.

On the final day, the Synod was attended by representatives of other Churches, including the Greek Orthodox, the Syriac Orthodox, and the Armenian Orthodox Churches and Protestant Churches. They also support the unification of the date for celebrating Pascha.

V. C.


Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 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)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul that really loves God and Christ, though it may do ten thousand righteousnesses, esteems itself as having wrought nothing, by reason of its insatiable aspiration after God. Though it should exhaust the body with fastings, with watchings, its attitude towards the virtues is as if it had not yet even begun to labour for them.

St. Macarius the Great