.- The Holy Father spoke about the needs of the Holy Land this morning as he received 70 participants in the annual meeting of ROACO, the Meeting of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches, which is part of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
The Holy Father recalled "the Christian communities of the Oriental Churches, subject at this moment to serious trials due to current conflicts, terrorism and other difficulties," noting they "can count on your assistance."
In addition, he thanked them for taking the time during the sessions to look at the situation of the Greek-Catholic Church in Romania. "Thank you for your concern. It is a precious service of solidarity to the neediest."
John Paul II, referring to the collection for the Holy Land which is taken up every Good Friday all over the world, and to the recommendation of his predecessors “to care for the mother Church in Jerusalem,” said “it is necessary to persevere, praying intensely for peace for the people who live in the land of Jesus.”
“May Christians,” he prayed, “who are so tried by the never-ending violence and by numerous other problems that produce economic impoverishment, social conflicts, cultural and human degradation, never lack the support of the entire Catholic Church.”
“Thanks to the collection ... it is also possible to contribute to the resolution of problems and to nourish the spirit of acceptance and reciprocal respect, promoting a common will of reconciliation. All of this will contribute to building up peace which is so-longed for,” said the Pope.
The Pope emphasized that one of the most important duties of the congregation “in order to sustain pastoral care and the labor of evangelization of the Oriental Churches is the formation of those who give formation.” In this sense, he highlighted the economic contribution of the dicastery “in preparing priests, and in following seminarians, women and men religious and lay people so that the Churches may be able to count on expert pastors and responsible and competent lay people.”