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A road to travel together



At the request of the Bishop's Conference of England and Wales , Monsignor Peter Fleeetwood has written a brief presentation focusing on the the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East explaining how in his early days as Pope, Benedict XVI had expressed the desire to make a pilgrimage in spirit to the heart of the Christian East. At the end of the Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2008 , Monsignor Peter explains in this document, the Bishops had handed the Pope an appeal for peace which he had taken to heart and following his pilgrimage to the Holy Land just 4 months previously he invited them to Castel Gandolfo to announce the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East.
Joining Veronica Scarisbrick in our studios here Monsignor Peter tells her what the word synod actually means: "..synod is a Greek word meaning a road we travel together..", and if there have been previous synods focusing on this part of the world: "..well there was a Synod for Lebanon once before but now this is the Middle East extending to Iraq, Iran, Cyprus, Turkey , North Africa as well, largely the world that speaks Arabic, in French they call it the Near East..I don't know why we call it the Middle East...however it's the term the Arabs use themselves "...
Also in this interview Monsignor Peter shares information on the theme of this Synod :The Catholic Church in the Middle East, Communion and Witness.° A theme he says, followed by a quotation from the Acts of the Apostles . That's to say; " the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul.. ". Commenting on this quotation , Monsignor Peter adds :"..I suspect that's not stating the way things are as much as the way things will be, should be... It may be in some cases the way things are but obviously it's a goal to be reached, the company of believers should be of one heart and soul. That suggests that all is not easy at the moment and that there are obstacles and challenges to be overcome, or to be faced or lived with ,or lived through in some cases.."
In this interview Monsignor Peter also shares information regarding the actual working of the Synod itself, which takes place behind the closed doors of the Vatican's Synod Hall tucked away behind the building which houses the Paul VI Audience Hall .
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