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Intervention of Mons. Joseph KALLAS, Archbishop of Beirut and Jbeil of the Greek-Melkites (LEBANON)



The Christians of the Middle East have had a different fate from all other Christians in the world: never having had their own state, but belonging to their own linguistic families, they were always insecure because of persecution and oppression. Conditioned by the shock and supremacy of Islam, they found how to adapt to Muslim power and to contribute with it to the construction of Civilization. Under more or less oppressive laws of segregation for centuries, and sometimes living at the margin of their circle, they delved into their own spiritual theology as well as their human culture, becoming the interpreters of the Greeks for the Arabs, and by developing the sciences of astronomy, medicine and mathematics, etc...
This Christians in living the faith, and clinging to “know him and the power of his resurrection” (Phil 3:10), were caught up, despite themselves, in the battle of wits between theologians. Day by day, we discover that they are of the same faith as the Catholics and have always followed their pastors, successors of the Apostles. They should not be classed among the extremist theological currents, factors of heresy or schisms.
They are all united by faith lived in the action of every day, in the hope of salvation and fidelity to Christ. It is in this that they are united, and merit entering in the same communion. Their division is, in my opinion, a problem for institutional jurisdiction. We cannot apply the dogmatic or canonical rigor of the West to them, but rather the pastoral economy of Saint Paul.

[00141-02.04] [IN100] [Original text: French]




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