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Pope speaks of 'deep sadness' over suffering of Christians in Iraq, Syria

January 30, 2015

Pope Francis reiterated his “dismay and deep sadness” over the continued bloodshed in Iraq and Syria, during a January 30 meeting with ecumenical representatives of the Oriental Orthodox churches.

The Pope met in a private audience with 30 participants in a joint theological commission, convened in 2003 to foster dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox churches—the Eastern churches are those that split from Rome after the Council of Chalcedon in 451. He said that he hoped the committee’s work “will bear rich fruit” for the cause of Christian unity.

Turning to the crisis facing the Christian minority in the Middle East, the Pope said that all Christians should pray and intercede for them. He said: “May the intercession and example of many martyrs and saints who have borne courageous witness of Christ in all our churches sustain and strengthen you and your Christian communities.”

 
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