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Pope calls cardinals to a consistory to discuss Middle East

October 07, 2014

Pope Francis has called the College of Cardinals to a special meeting that will discuss the crisis facing Christians in the Middle East.

The October 20 meeting was originally scheduled as an “ordinary consistory” to approve decrees for causes of saints. But the Pontiff has expanded the scope of the meeting to include discussion of the Middle East.

An “ordinary consistory” is a gather of all the cardinals who are present in Rome at the time. On October 20, an unusually large number of cardinals will be in the city, since the Synod of Bishops will have formally closed just one day earlier.

The plan for the special meeting was announced on October 7, during a session of the Synod of Bishops. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State, will provide the meeting with a thorough overview of the situation in the Middle East, and a report on the recent meeting of papal nuncios serving in that region. Six patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic churches will participate, as will the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem.

The announcement of the consistory followed closely upon the news that a Catholic priest had been abducted in Syria, along with several members of his parish.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 07, 2014 11:14 PM ET USA

    It might help if the cardinals and the powers that be in the Vatican actually had experts to brief them on what is going on and not what the clergy thinks is going on.