L’Église catholique se prépare à affronter l’islam politique – UPDATE

Le Pape convoque un synode sur le Moyen-Orient pour souder la diaspora chrétienne.

Le sort des dix-sept millions de chrétiens du Moyen-Orient – dont 5 millions de catholiques particulièrement affectés par une diaspora vers l’Occident – préoccupe beaucoup Benoît XVI. Il convoque à Rome, du 10 au 24 octobre prochain, l’ensemble des cent cinquante évêques résidents des dix-sept pays concernés, et des experts, pour un «synode spécial».

Une première feuille de route, les «lineamenta», a été publiée mardi au Vatican. Ce document de trente pages est destiné aux communautés chrétiennes locales qui vont en débattre.

Lisez le reste ICI.

English text of the Lineamenta.

* * *

Here is how my colleague Tadeusz Mich, The World Vision expert in Catholicism, summarises this important document:

“Leneament” was drafted by a pre-synodale council composed by seven patriarchs, two presidents of Episcopal conferences and four department heads of the Roman Curia. It is an analysis, point by point, of the reality in which Christians in the region live and the prospects for their continued presence. Each chapter ends with a series of questions put forward for the reflection of the “synod fathers”.  The document is stressing several key issues;

1. Christians in the Middle East must rediscover their role as “witnesses” of Jesus, by promoting dialogue between Jews and Muslims, respect for human rights and peace, that are vital for the region.

2. They must also  abandon the temptations of ” self-preoccupation and fear of others”.

3. The political and social framework that is outlined has decidedly more shadows than lights. “The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories makes everyday life, freedom of movement, economic and religious life difficult;”the war in Iraq has unleashed forces of evil” and “Christians are among the main victims of the Iraqi community because they are the smallest and weakest”, in Lebanon, “Christians are deeply divided along political and confessional lines, and nobody has a project that may be accepted by all.

4. The extremist currents are a threat to everyone, Christians and Muslims, and we must face them together.The game of international politics, often ignores the existence of Christians.

5. Further aggravating the picture is the fact that “too often our
countries identify the West with Christianity,” for which “the political
choices of Western states are ascribed to the Christian faith.

6. This is the reality in which the churches live, all the many churches
(the Catholic churches alone are seven) in the region. One of the first
issues, then, is coexistence and cooperation among Christians. “Relations are generally good and friendly” even if there are “some difficulties” of a pastoral nature.

7. Witness is the answer proposed by the “Lineamenta”.  It calls for “a
personal conversion of Christians, starting with the pastors, through a
return to the spirit of the Gospel.” The Churches of the Middle East “are
active: there are numerous projects, many movements of young people, many educational institutions and charities, etc.. Sometimes these activities are professionally effective, but they are not always a witness. ”

It’s a working document  for the Special Synod for the Middle East, which will be held 10 to 24 October 2010.

Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

11 thoughts on “L’Église catholique se prépare à affronter l’islam politique – UPDATE”

  1. Iata si o veste buna de cealalta parte a baricadei. Sper sa nu fie propaganda pt exterior ci sa le spuna si alor sai la fel.
    “Syria’s foremost Muslim leader declared on Tuesday that Islam commands its followers to protect Judaism, according to Army Radio.
    “If the Prophet Mohammed had asked me to deem Christians or Jews heretics, I would have deemed Mohammed himself a heretic,” Sheikh Ahmed Hassoun, the Mufti of Syria, was quoted as telling a delegation of American academics visiting Damascus.
    Hassoun, the leader of Syria’s majority Sunni Muslim community, also told the delegates that Islam was a religion of peace, adding: “If Mohammed had commanded us to kill people, I would have told him he was not a prophet.”


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