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     Home > Synod >  2010-10-17 13:40:34
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Intervention of H. Em. Mar Gregoios Yohanna IBRAHIM, Metropolitan of Alep (SYRIA)

First of all His Eminence Gregorios presented the greetings from His Beatitude the Patriarch to His Holiness Benedict XVI, and expressed his wish that the Synod should have a successful outcome. He then touched on three important topics, namely:
1. The emigration of Christians from the Middle East, which he defined as a fatal illness, saying that up to now this topic had not received enough attention; the proof of this is that massive emigration continues everywhere. The number of Christians is dropping every day and in order for this illness to be treated and suitable solutions found to bring this phenomenon to an end a special conference is required.
2. As regards the ecumenical journey, His Beatitude put forward a new suggestion to His Holiness the Pope, namely separating communion from authority. In this way the whole Church enters into a single communion and unity in faith goes back to being what it was before the era of the divisions.
3. As regards relationships with the Muslims, His Beatitude affirmed that the most dangerous enemy Christians and Muslims have to face is ignorance, which is what often dominates religious discussion, creating tensions, instability and conflict between Christians and Muslims. He suggested that the Christian Church promote enlightened thought and entrust itself to moderates.
In conclusion, he made the following suggestions:
1. Even if this topic has already been dealt with by other Synodal Fathers at this assembly, this is the time and place to draw it to your attention and then to proceed from a rapid study and translate it into reality: this is a general request of all the Christians of the Middle East, that is, finding a solution to unify the date of the Feast of Easter. Christians are waiting impatiently to see their unity represented by this symbol. So will it be this venerable Synod that takes the decision to unify the Feast of Easter? His Beatitude the Patriarch Gregorios Laham has announced it on various occasions, in fact he came close to realizing this dream of all the Churches of the Middle East on unifying the date of Easter. This could be the first step towards the longed-for Christian unity.

2. Our Churches are rooted in persecution and we in the East are the children of martyrs. We must not forget the martyrs of the 20th and 19th centuries, the victims of inhuman massacres, or what we Syriacs call Sifo. My proposal is that Your Holiness adopt the idea of a single feast for the Christian martyrs universally and that requires no more than the consensus of all the Christian Churches, so that a day may be established for the celebration of the Feast of the Martyrs everywhere. We will thus have taken another step towards Christian unity and, at the same time, we will perpetuate the memory of our holy martyrs every year.

[00147-02.02] [DF003] [Original text: Arabic]


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