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Intervention of Mons. Joseph KHOURY, Bishop of Saint-Maron de Montréal of the Maronites (CANADA)

The Eparchy of Saint Maroun of Canada wishes, first of all, to express its thanks to His Holiness Benedict XVI for his solicitude towards Eastern Christians. This synod, that he wanted to consecrate to them, will lead to a deep reflection on today’s situation and on their future. It will call upon the conscience and responsibility of each Christian in the region and especially of the pastors and political and social leaders. Its work should also draw special attention from the intellectual elite and the managing classes of the Middle Eastern countries.
Eastern Christians have lived in their own homelands since the beginning of time. Witnesses of the first period of Christianity, the wealth of their spiritual and liturgical heritage is inestimable. Their contribution to all of Christianity, to the progress of each individual country and their contribution to cohabitation and dialogue no longer need to be demonstrated. Their openness to the East and to the West has made it a necessary path of unity for better mutual knowledge.
Attached to sincere and loyal dialogue with other religious families in the region and with respect for the differences, they have the right to live with dignity and serenity. They must be able to bear witness to their faith in complete freedom.

The fate of Eastern Christians will depend greatly on the evolution of dialogue with cultures and religions and in particular the relations between East and West. We would like to believe that in this global village which is what the world has become and where paradoxically fundamentalism and sectarianism have become more and more violent and intransigent, justice, cohabitation and the fundamental rights will always have their place.

[00140-02.03] [IN099] [Original text: French]


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