by Laura Badaracco for Romasette
25 November 2010

 
A series of meetings with experts at the Cultural Centre of via della Greca,
with the object of promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue


A series of conferences to raise awareness of the Eastern Christian heritage, called The Churches of the Middle East: identity, testimony and dialogue, a series of meetings, with free entry and on a monthly basis, - will be held at the headquarters of the Cultural Centre Bocca della Verità, at 3 via della Greca starting this afternoon, November 25. "Various scholars and experts will be describing a journey into the rich heritage of ecclesiastical traditions of the East," anticipates Naman Tarcha, manager of the Centre, opened in the monumental complex of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.

"Our main objective is the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue,” underlines Archim. Mtanios Haddad, director of the Centre. “In this context, we have decided to promote knowledge of Arab culture, protecting and enhancing the cultural, artistic and historical heritage of the Middle East, making it alive in relation to the changes and challenges of the present, focusing at all levels on the formation and development of the person."

In a series of meetings and in its other cultural initiatives, the Centre "seeks to be a bridge between the two shores of the Mediterranean, for the rediscovery of a world that often seems so close but far away, where every stone has a story to tell, but especially where the dialogue between peoples is based on mutual respect, justice and peace," notes Tarcha. He adds: "We would like to tell people about this rich, colourful mosaic of the Middle East, where peoples, ethnicities and religions have lived together forever."

 The series of conferences, therefore, is accompanied by a full programme of activities: courses in Arabic and Italian language and culture, Byzantine choral chant (from 27 November, every Saturday afternoon from 4p.m - 5p.m.) and individual violin, mosaics and iconography.

The lecture series begins today at 5. 30.m.,  with "The Ethiopian Church," described by Fr. Groum Tesfaye, S. J., of the Philosophical and Theological Institute in Addis Ababa. On 16 December, at 5p.m., the reality of the Chaldean Church will be illustrated by Msgr. Pierre Yousif, of the Parisian Centre Eglise d'Orient, while Don George Jahola, of the Roman College of St. Ephrem will present the Syro-Antiochian Church on January 20, 2011 at the same hour.

A month later, on February 20, Fr. Augustin Mouhanna – of the Université Saint-Esprit of Kaslik, Lebanon - will reveal the characteristics of the Maronite Church, while to explain the spread of the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Church there will be Fr. Jacov Kulić, of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, speaking on March 17, followed on 31 by Fr. Germano Marani, S. J., a lecturer at the same university, talking about the Byzantine Church.

On April 14, Msgr. Mtanios Haddad, Apocrisary in Rome of H. B. Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, will give a talk about the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. The last two meetings will be confined to May - 5 and 19 respectively: the first, on the Coptic Church, will be led by Fr. Mamdouh Chehab Bassilios, friar and professor at the Centre Franciscain d'Etudes orientales chrétiennes in Cairo; the second will be led by Fr. Boghos Zekiyan, from the Venetian University Ca 'Cappello, Venice, on the topic of the Armenian Church. To complete the cycle, there will be a concert of sacred music of the Christian East, with the participation of choirs formed from the different Eastern churches present in the capital.

For more information, www.centroboccadellaverita.com    

http://www.romasette.it/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6523&keywords=santa+maria+cosmedin

Translated from the Italian

V.C.


Teachings of Christ

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Nativity of the Mother of God

Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, * heralded joy to all the world; * for from you has dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * and, having annulled the curse, He gave the blessing * and by destroying Death He granted us eternal life. (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.

Through your holy nativity, O Immaculate One, * Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness, * and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. * Delivered from the guilt of sin, your people celebrate this as they cry out to you: * "The barren woman gives birth to the Mother of God, the Nourisher of our Life." (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 8th.

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"'And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: `Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'"

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (190 AD), Fragment 34