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Could Archbishop O'Brien rally support for endangered Christians of the Middle East?

August 30, 2011

Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, the newly appointed grandmaster of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, has a reputation as an unflinching “tell-it-like-it-is” personality, notes John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter. Allen thinks that trait could be useful in Archbishop O’Brien’s new post, “because the embattled Christians of the Middle East desperately need a real political heavyweight to take up their cause.”

In the past, Allen observes, this position has been seen as “little more than a sinecure,” usually given to a loyal Vatican official nearing retirement. But the dangers that Christians now face in the Middle East, and the urgent need for support from their fellow Christians elsewhere in the world, call for the attention of a prelate who will not hesitate to speak plainly and throw his weight around to produce results.


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