O’Mahony, A/Flannery, J (eds.): The Catholic Church…

November 10th, 2010

Edited by Anthony O’Mahony, John Flannery, The Catholic Church in the Contemporary Middle East: Studies for The Synod for the Middle East


London: Melisende, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-901764-61-1

The Synod of Bishops Special Assembly for the Middle East called by Pope Benedict XVI in Rome in 2009 is a significant event for the Catholic Church in the Middle East. The Synod is also, however, an important event for the wider Christian Church (both in the region and in the West) and for the Christian tradition as a whole. The Conference The Synod for the Middle East: Catholic Theological and Ecclesial Perspectives, 9-11 June, 2010, held at the Centre for Eastern Christianity, Heythrop College, University of London, was organized with the intention of making a fraternal engagement with the preparations for the Synod, seeking to honour the importance of the event. Papers presented at the Conference have now been published as The Catholic Church in the Contemporary Middle East.

As stated by Archbishop Sako in his Foreword: ‘The Middle East is the cradle of Christianity. Christianity was born in Palestine and rapidly spread to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt. The Churches of the Middle East are repositories of ancient Christian traditions: Syrian, Copt, Greek, Armenian, Latin and Arabic. Their liturgy, spirituality, monasticism and ecclesiastical discipline and canons have great importance for the whole Church. Their way of understanding the message of the Gospel, of living it and explaining it in a multicultural context is truly authentic. Even today their Muslim neighbours show appreciation for their skills and this open character, with an expectation that they will witness to their Christian values. The migration of Christians from the Middle East is thus a great loss for both communities. In time Christians in the diaspora will lose their Eastern identity through integration into Western society and culture, this is a significant challenge for all the Eastern Christian Churches. In the Middle East, Muslims, and Islamic society and culture, will lose the presence of Christians with their commitment to open-mindedness and their engaged skills.’

Archbishop Louis Sako SJ
Bishop Antoine Audo SJ
Frans Bouwen M. Afr.
Sebastian Brock
Najla Chahda
Michel Cuypers LBJ
John Flannery
Robin Gibbons
Sidney H Griffith
Leonard Marsh
David Neuhaus SJ
Anthony O’Mahony
Suha Rassam
Fadel Sidarouss SJ
Constantin Simon SJ
Dominique Trimbur
John Whooley
Dietmar W Winkler
Petrus Yousif

It has been reviewed in:

Submission: Anthony O’Mahony (Editor), 10.11.2010

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