10 October 2014

Synod to persecuted families: May the Lord bring you peace and stablity

The Fathers of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops released today a message of solidarity with the many families throughout the world - and especially in Iraq and Syria - who are suffering great hardships as a result of conflicts.

The text of their message is as follows:
Gathered around the Successor of the Apostle Peter, we the Synod Fathers of the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, along with all participants, share the paternal concern of the Holy Father, expressing our profound closeness to all the families who suffer as a consequence of the many conflicts in progress.

In particular, we raise to the Lord our prayers for Iraqi and Syrian families, forced on account of their profession of the Christian faith or their belonging to other ethnic or religious communities, to abandon everything and flee towards a future without any form of certainty. We join with the Holy Father Francis in emphasising that no-one may use the name of God to commit violence, and that to kill in the name of God is a grave sacrilege. Offering thanks to International Organisations and Countries for their solidarity, we invite persons of good will to offer the necessary assistance and aid to the innocent victims of the current barbarism, and at the same time we implore the international community to act to re-establish peaceful co-existence in Iraq, in Syria, and in all the Middle East.

Equally, our thoughts go to those families that are torn apart and suffering in other parts of the world, and who suffer persistent violence. We wish to assure them of our constant prayer that the Lord may convert hearts and bring peace and stability to those who are now in need.

May the Holy Family of Nazareth, which suffered on the painful road of exile make every family a community of love and reconciliation a source of hope for the whole world.
Much of the world has forgotten in these recent days that are other factors deeply affecting family life besides the question of Holy Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and how to compassionately - and justly - welcome persons with a homosexual tendency into the family and into the Church. Hopefully this message will help remind many that the Bishops, Cardinals, and other observers have been called to discuss the Pastoral Challenges in the Context of Evangelization. Certainly the increasing persecution against Christians in the Middle East and in many parts of Africa and India are of greater concern than the questions with which many in the West are so obsessed.

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