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Middle East synod document to be published during papal visit to Cyprus

.- The Holy See has released the details of Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Journey to Cyprus for June. During Benedict XVI's official visit to the Mediterranean island, he will present the working document for the upcoming Special Synod for the Middle East.

The Holy Father's visit to the eastern Mediterranean island from June 4-6 will mark his third international visit of the year, following Apostolic Journeys to Malta next week and Portugal in May. He will also make a day trip to the north of Italy to venerate the Shroud of Turin on May 2.

Pope Benedict will arrive from Rome at the International Airport of Paphos just after lunch on Friday, June 4, from where he will make his way to the Agia Kiriaki Chrysopolitissa Church of Paphos for an ecumenical celebration.

Saturday morning's schedule includes a number of visits with different groups in the capital city of Nicosia, including the president and other civil and diplomatic figures, members of the Catholic community of Cyprus and the Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus S.B. Chrysostomos II.

That evening, Pope Benedict will celebrate Mass with priests, religious, deacons, catechists and members of Cypriot ecclesial movements in the Latin parish of the Holy Cross.

The final day of his visit to the island nation will see the Holy Father presiding over Mass at the Elefteria Sports Palace, on the occasion of the publication of the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the Special Synod for the Middle East.

The document will establish the guidelines for the upcoming October 10-24 synod at the Vatican. The theme of the summit is: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East. Communion and Witness. Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul."

After the Eucharistic celebration on Sunday, the Pope will join S.B. Chysostomos II, patriarchs and bishops from the Synod's Special Council, and members of the papal delegation for lunch at the Apostolic Nunciature in Nicosia.

Pope Benedict XVI's final stop before leaving the country that afternoon will be Nicosia's Maronite Cathedral of Cyprus.

The Holy Father will also be visiting Spain and the United Kingdom later in 2010.


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