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Pope urges Eastern churches to be peacemakers

Catholic World News - June 26, 2014

Speaking on June 26 to the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), Pope Francis thanked the groups for their efforts to “make peace grow through charity.”

The Pope said that hoped to promote by his visit to the Holy Land. Shortly thereafter, when he invited the presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray with him at the Vatican, he said that their meeting pointed toward a peace that would be “secure and enduring only because it is cultivated by man hands.” The agencies represented by ROACO are contribute to that effort, he said, when they “respond to basic needs, particularly of those who are powerless and most vulnerable, as well as the many young people tempted to leave their homeland.”

Pope Francis expressed his hope that the Eastern churches will act as peacemakers: in the Middle East, in Ukraine, and especially in Syria and Iraq. He said:

Hoping at times against all hope, remaining in the place of their birth where the Gospel of the incarnate Son of God was first proclaimed, may they experience the blessedness reserved to those who are peacemakers: 'they will be called children of God'. And may they always feel the support of the universal Church and never falter in their conviction that the fire of Pentecost, the power of Love, can halt the fire of arms, hatred, and vengeance.

The Pontiff concluded his remarks by asking leaders of the Eastern churches to make pastoral work with families a top priority, reminding them of the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops which will be dedicated to that topic.

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