Loading
Dialogue needed in Middle East to prevent Muslim-Christian clash, says patriarch

.- Without dialogue a "new clash" of the Muslim East and Christian West could result, said one Eastern Catholic patriarch during discussions at the Vatican yesterday on the Church in the Middle East.

Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek Melkites, Archbishop of Damascus of the Greek Melkites, said in his Tuesday afternoon address to participants in the Synod for the Middle East that living together in peace and the Christian presence in the region are concretely and existentially connected.

Pointing to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the "main reason" for this conflict, he said that the situation is marked by fundamentalism, slow development, increased hatred and a loss of hope among young people who are the majority of the population (60 percent) in Arab countries.

The accompanying emigration of Christians from the region due to this conflict could eventually create a "new clash of cultures, of civilizations and even of religions, a destructive clash between the Muslim Arab East and the Christian West," he added.

To counter this possible catastrophe, he proposed improved dialogue between Christians and Muslims to increase trust between the East and West.

"To convince Christians to stay," said the patriarch, "we think it is necessary to address our Muslim brothers to tell them with honesty what our fears are … ” He listed the need for the separation of Church and State, protecting democracy, nations being identified as Muslim instead of Arab, the need to protect human rights and laws being created that assert that Islam is the only or main source of legislation.

He also pointed to fundamentalist parties "which have been blamed for acts of terrorism, for killings, for burning churches, for extortion, in the name of religion ..."

The "great challenge" for the area, concluded Patriarch Gregorios III, is to achieve peace.

"This," he said, "is the great 'jihad' (holy war) and the great good. This is the true victory and the true guarantee for the future of freedom, prosperity and security for our young, Christians and Muslims, who are the future of our Nations."

The patriarch's five-minute address was one of many during the evening that were made ahead of an "open" session in which free debate was encouraged. During this session, participants spoke about a variety of themes, including the importance of mutual respect and freedom of religion in the area.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
28

Liturgical Calendar

July 28, 2014

Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Gospel
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 13: 1-11
Gospel:: Mt 13: 31-35

Saint of the Day

St. Victor I, Pope »

Saint
Date
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:31-35

Homily
Date
07/28/14
07/27/14
07/26/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: