Loading
Italian cardinal urges strong support of Mideast Christians
By Estefania Aguirre
Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, at the Synod on Evangelisation, October 10, 2012. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.
Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, at the Synod on Evangelisation, October 10, 2012. Credit: Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk.

.- At a conference of Muslim and Catholic leaders in Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola encouraged greater support for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

“We need to help Christians more strongly,” Cardinal Scola said at the University of Milan, where the tenth annual meeting of the Oasis International Foundation was held this week.

“We need to support them with real love and a very strong friendship, but also with different means,” the archbishop of Milan told CNA in a June 18 interview.

Cardinal Scola founded Oasis to promote dialogue between Muslims and Christians, and this year's conference discussed the tightrope between secularism and ideology so often walked in the Middle East.

“Above all, many Christians are being pushed to leave their countries, and it’s a very bad thing because Christianity was born in the Middle East,” said Cardinal Scola.

“In certain countries Christians are persecuted, and sometimes they even become martyrs.”

The Cardinal said that although “it’s difficult to imagine the future of Christians in the Middle East, I’m sure they will resist.”

He considered that there is a certain likeness to Jesus when Christians in the Middle East undergo suffering and persecution.

“Once, the previous Latin patriarch, (Michel) Sabbah, explained to me that Jerusalem is the place of Holy Friday. And that seemed to me a very good definition,” Cardinal Scola said during a coffee break of the conference.

“That must provoke all world Christians – above all in Europe and in the United States – to be more assured in witnessing, and offering a real experience of love and support,” the cardinal stated.

He believes that inter-religious dialogue will help the situation and that God is “leading history.”  

Cardinal John O. Onaiyekan gave a presentation at the conference June 17 discussing how Muslims in his country of Nigeria are not a uniform group, and there is much variation in expression of Islam there.

“As Cardinal Onaiyekan said, people in the West need to avoid trying to define Muslims in an intellectual way,” said Cardinal Scola.

“I was impressed with Cardinal Onaiyekan’s speech, who told of the necessity to help Islam in Nigeria to understand the phenomenon of Boko Haram’s terrorism, in order to convince people of the necessity of constantly purifying religion.”

“We must avoid using adjectives (lightly), and enter into contact with the people themselves. And the point of reference must be the common experience of men and women around the world.”

“We are one family of God,” he said, and everyone shares in the fullness of humanity.

He highlighted the need to “avoid revenge and to choose the way of repentance.”

“But it’s a long path and we need to do that in a realistic way.”

The cardinal explained the need to avoid using force to dominate, and that “terrorism is an expression of ideologization and politicization of the faith.”

Cardinal Scola founded Oasis in 2004, after he was asked to do so by seven bishops of Damascus while he was rector of the Pontifical Lateran University. The Damascene bishops hoped for cultural support in the midst of Syrian society.

“They also told me of the necessity to use the Arabic language and to not limit ourselves to English,” he said.

This was because “without Arabic, it would be impossible to enter into real inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue” with Muslims.

“So step by step I found people who wanted to share in the project and we founded this ten years ago, with now around 100 people from around the world,” said the cardinal.

Tags: Islam, Cardinal Scola, Conference


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?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
19

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Gospel
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »

Saint
Date

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10

Homily
Date
04/19/14
04/18/14
04/17/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: