Friday, 24 October 2014

Rome, Italy - Sant’Egidio and the Synod fathers remember persecuted Christians

The Synod of Bishops on the family has recently ended. It was summoned - as Pope Francis said in his homily for the beatification of Paul VI - “to respond with courage to the numerous challenges of the present”, to “take care of the wounds that bleed and to reignite the hope of many people without hope”.
Among the wounds in the heart of the Church one is certainly the difficult condition experienced around the world by many Christians who endure marginalization, discrimination and persecution. This is among the issues being addressed on October 20th, in the presence of the Patriarchs of the East, in the Consistory which also discusses the Christians in the Middle East and the commitment of the Church for peace in that region.
In the same spirit, on Sunday October 12th, in the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew, the Synod fathers from Europe, Africa and Asia prayed together with the Community of Sant’Egidio,
commemorating those who lost their lives for the Gospel and invoking peace and protection for those who are being persecuted in our time. 
Remembering the Christians who suffer in the Middle East and elsewhere, Cardinal Schonbom, archbishop of Vienna, said: “Martyrdom is also history and testimony of the profound unity among the Churches in the midst of tribulations”. It is a unity which is plastically visible in a Basilica whose side chapels house relics of martyrs from all persuasions and celebrate consistently a history of both suffering and redemption, the two faces of the 1900s and of the century that just began.  

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