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     Home > Synod >  2010-10-16 13:49:55
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Intervention of Mrs. Pilar LARA ALÉN, President of the "Fundación Promoción Social de la Cultura" (SPAIN), auditor

During my first visit to Lebanon in 1992, I realized what the situation of the country and of Christians was and I told His Exc. Mons. Alvaro del Portillo, who was the Prelate of Opus Dei at the time about it and he answered me that it was one of the subjects which mattered the most to Pope John Paul II. In 1996, I had the chance to have a conversation with His Holiness Jean Paul II who told me that Lebanon is a land of martyrs and that “As long as she will have saints, she will have Christians”. He also asked me to work to help the Christians in the Holy Land to not abandon it, so that it wouldn’t become a museum.
Today the foundation is present in 41 countries and on four continents. In the five Middle Eastern countries, our main area, we have generated more than 98 programs with a business of more than 60 million euros.
After these years of experience in the land, I would like to comment on the situation; in the Middle East we can see a disappearance of entire Christian communities, with indifference from the whole world, especially Europe. At the same time, war is part of daily life; poverty is not the only reason for conflicts, more often the religious factor is. And finally, Christians continue to live around their Churches, even if sometimes it is a simple social formalism.
The conclusion is that the presence of Christians is fundamental for peace and reconciliation. But they should act without displacing religion from public life, like what happened in Europe because this is of no utility to development. The religious values allow us to progress, at times, on the social and personal level. In consequence, Christians must adapt their behavior to their beliefs, to overcome hatred and resentment and to seek forgiveness. They should not preach with words, the evangelical message and its action, vengeance and armed battle.
Every person has the obligation to obtain the formation which allows him to acquire the conditions to progress in his professional and Christian life.

[00126-02.03] [UD009] [Original text: French]


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