VATICAN CITY, 25 OCT 2008 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, patriarchs and archbishops from Eastern Catholic churches who are participating in the current meeting of the Synod of Bishops, delivered an appeal to the Holy Father "in favour of our brothers and sisters of the East", in which they ask for "the confirmation of all attempts being made to favour peace, freedom and truth in love".

In the text of the appeal, which appeared on the pages of the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper, the prelates write: "Our hearts are moved by the suffering of so many of our sons and daughters of the East. Children and youth, people in extreme difficulty because of their age, health or essential spiritual and material needs; families perennially tempted to despair over the present and the future. We feel it our duty to voice their justifiable hopes that everyone may soon be guaranteed a dignified life, in fruitful social coexistence.

"Peace is the work of justice! This is an imperative we cannot ignore. We ask, then, for peace in justice, of which real religious freedom is a guarantee, and especially for the Holy Land which was the birthplace of Christ the Redeemer, for Lebanon, Iraq and India.

"We remain close to people suffering for their Christian faith and to all believers prevented from professing their religion. We pay homage to Christians who have recently lost their lives for faithfulness to the Lord".

"Before the Pope and the Synod Fathers, encouraged by their fraternity, we present this urgent request: to Christians and all men and women of good will, demonstrate respect and acceptance of others in daily life, drawing close to all those in need, at home and far away; to pastors and religious leaders, preach and support such an attitude by sustaining and increasing initiatives of mutual understanding, dialogue and assistance; to the international community and politicians, guarantee true religious freedom at a legislative level, by overcoming all discrimination and helping those who are forced to leave their own land for religious reasons".

SE/APPEAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM/...VIS 081027 (350)


Teachings of Christ

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Seventh Ecumenical Council

O Christ our God, You are most glorious, * for You established our Fathers as lights upon the earth * and through them led us to the true faith. * O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 8)

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

The Son Who shone forth ineffably from the Father * was born two-fold in nature. * Beholding Him, we do not refuse the image of his form, * but piously depicting it, we honor it faithfully. * Therefore the Church, holding fast to the true faith, * kisses the icon of the incarnation of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Troparia of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let us go forward with the heart completely attentive and the soul fully conscious. For if attentiveness and prayer are daily joined together, they become like Elias' fire-bearing chariot, raising us to heaven. What do I mean? A spiritual heaven, with sun, moon and stars, is formed in the blessed heart of one who has reach a state of watchfulness, or who strives to attain it.

St. Philotheus of Sinai