CWN - As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued his crackdown, assuming unprecedented powers through a state of emergency and suspending adherence to a human rights treaty, one of the nation’s bishops said that Catholics are safe because they stay out of politics.

“All the current difficulties are linked to political events, and we don’t touch such issues or take any part in demonstrations,” Bishop Rubén Tierrablanca Gonzalez told Catholic News Service. “Thanks to this, our Church’s members are safe.”

In April, the 63-year-old Franciscan, who hails from Mexico and ministered in El Paso, Rome, and Turkey, was named the Latin-rite apostolic vicar of Istanbul and apostolic administrator of the nation’s Greek Catholics. A curial prelate, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, ordained him a bishop on June 11.

“Of course, we’re not happy about what’s happened, but we’ll continue to encourage and support our faithful,” Bishop Tierrablanca added. “We hope the situation will improve without bringing us further troubles, but there are problems here which can’t be tackled in a short time.”

Turkey is 99.8% Sunni Muslim, and only 47,000 of the nation’s 75 million people are Catholic.

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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)

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

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one on this earth can avoid affliction; and although the afflictions which the Lord sends are not great men imagine them beyond their strength and are crushed by them. This is because they will not humble their souls and commit themselves to the will of God. But the Lord Himself guides with His grace those who are given over to God's will, and they bear all things with fortitude for the sake of God Whom they have so loved and with Whom they are glorified for ever. It is impossible to escape tribulation in this world but the man who is giver over to the will of God bears tribulation easily, seeing it but putting his trust in the Lord, and so his tribulations pass.

Archimandrite Sophrony