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Intervention of Mons. Jean Benjamin SLEIMAN, Archbishop of Babylon of the Latins (IRAQ)


My intervention relates to no. 55 of the .I.L which says: In inter-ecclesial relations among Catholics, this communion is manifested in each country by the various assemblies of patriarchs and bishops so that Christian witness might be more sincere, credible and fruitful. To foster a unity in diversity, a rigid or exaggerated confessionalism must give way to encouraging communities to cooperate among themselves, coordinate pastoral activities and manifest spiritual
emulation and not rivalry. In this regard, some responses suggest periodically calling (perhaps every five years) an assembly of the entire episcopate of the Middle East.”
The Communion is referred to about thirty times in the Instrumentum. That is the heart of our ecclesial identity, the dynamics of unity and of the multiplicity of our churches. From it depends our present and our future, our testimony and our engagement, our efforts to stem an emigration which weakens us and exorcize the disenchantment which erodes us.
But communion is especially contradicted by confessionalism. Rites are transformed into confessions. It is also essential that our churches sui juris rediscover the roots of this phenomenon which are buried in primitive Arab Islamic structures. They are invited to disengage from this historical heritage to " find the model of the community of Jerusalem".

[00044-02.04] [IN022] [Original text: French]



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