Vatican City, Jun 20, 2022 / 09:45 am
Pope Francis discussed the "survival of Christians in the Middle East" with Catholic bishops from Syria and Lebanon at the Vatican on Monday.
The pope met with Patriarch Youssef Absi of Antioch and other representatives of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church as the Eastern church began its synod of bishops, which is taking place in Rome June 20-25.
In the meeting, Absi asked Pope Francis to put pressure on political authorities to “draw a red line,” prioritizing the protection of the Christian presence in the Middle East.
The patriarch told the pope of the Melkite bishops’ concern that widespread poverty, low standards of living, and dangerous conditions have led to a wave of emigration from the region, particularly of young people.