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Intervention of Mons. Nicolas SAWAF, Archbishop of Lattakieh of the Greek-Melkites (SYRIA)



“For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity...Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers...What the soul is in the body, Christians are in the world” (Epistle to Diognetus).
We live in a secularized and globalized world, where the number of men who are not interested in the questions about God, acting without any Christian reference outnumbers the small number of those recognizing themselves as Christians and believers.
Those to whom catechesis is addressed must establish themselves in a double relationship: relationship of appurtenance to a community founded on unity of faith and a relationship to a community founded on the unity of acceptance of pluralism and differences.
Christian faith can always be found in the field of human cultures.
In the Middle East, we are lacking a catechesis which bears in mind our Arabic culture, our Christian traditions and liturgical wealth.
We are lacking a catechetical program for the catechumenists. We ask for greater effort in the spiritual formation of seminarians.

[00075-02.03] [IN053] [Original text: French]




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