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October Synod will concentrate on ties with Islam, Israel-Palestine tensions

CWN - April 27, 2010

Relations with Islam, and the Israel-Palestine conflict, will be high on the agenda for a special meeting of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East, to be held in Rome in October.

The instrumentum laboris, or working paper, for the Synod session devotes considerable attention to relations with Islam: the need to cultivate amicable relations and the drive to secure reciprocal respect, so that Christians in Muslim nations receive the same legal rights that Muslims are accorded in Christian lands.

The consideration of the Israel-Palestinian problem emphasizes a "two-state solution." There is also discussion of the need for the Church to evangelize more effectively in Israel. The instrumentum laboris was prepared after comments from bishops around the world, but particularly in the Middle East. The preparation for this October Synod meeting has been faster than usual, apparently reflecting Pope Benedict's view that the discussion of the Middle East involves a degree of urgency that does not allow for the usual time-consuming preparation.

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