Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Pope and the Eastern Churches

On Saturday, the Holy Father visited the Sacred Congregation for Oriental ("Eastern") Churches. During his visit he accepted the resignation (due to age) of the congregation's prefect His Eminence Ignace Cardinal Daoud and appointed Archbishop Leonardo Sandri as his successor.

The Congregation is charged with overseeing the non-Latin Churches of the Catholic Church. Its goal is to preserve and promote the equality of these Churches with the great Church of Rome. Thus the congregation serves to ensure that 'Latinizations", the oft-mentioned fear of Eastern Churches not in communion with Rome, does not happen and that the all churches within the Catholic Church flourish.

ZENIT has published a summary account of the Holy Father's visit. Below are a few snippets.

He said: "Today the Pope gives thanks to Eastern Christians for their fidelity at the price of the shedding of blood -- admirable accounts which fill the pages of history even to the present-day martyrology!"...

Benedict XVI said he took the name of a "Pope who dearly loved the East" because he wants his pontificate to be "a pilgrimage to the heart of the East."

The Holy Father told Eastern Christians that "he wants to stay by their side."

He reiterated "his profound appreciation for the Eastern Catholic Churches for their particular role as living witnesses of the origins."...

Benedict XVI added: "In a particular way, the Eastern Churches guard the echo of the first announcement of the Gospel; the most ancient memories of the signs performed by the Lord; the first beams of the paschal light, and the reverberations of the unquenchable Pentecost fire."...

When the whole speech is available in English, I will add a link.

For the whole article, click here.

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