Vatican News continued this week its series on the works of the various “dicasteries” that make up the governing ministries of the Holy See, focusing on the Congregation for Eastern Churches — CNEWA’s closest partner — in an interview with its prefect, Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.
The interview spanned a breadth of topics, including the pastoral role of the Bishop of Rome and his relationship to these autonomous churches of the Catholic communion, themes of synodality and collegiality, our shared witness of Christian hope, and the pressing challenges of persecution, discrimination and migration of the Eastern Christian faithful:
“Certainly, the fronts on which our Eastern faithful live are particularly dramatic,” Cardinal Sandri said. “We have now reached the tenth year of the Syrian conflict and no solution seems to be in sight. Here different positions and sensitivities appear, but there is only one certainty: millions of people (including those belonging to the weakest sectors of the population, such as young people, children, women and the elderly) are deprived of a home, a school, sometimes a place for medical care, a place where they can grow, where they can play, where they can hope, a place where they can live and love.”
Cardinal Sandri highlighted one of the chief concerns of Pope Francis, the call to human fraternity and how the Eastern Catholic churches “offer a vocation to witness to coexistence and dialogue with the hope that through the mutual respect of one another’s rights, might promote the common good of every citizen, the community and the good of the country,” he said. “The Eastern Catholic churches have, therefore, seen in this almost a recognition of this desire, also a way of life that they have lived despite countless difficulties and suffering, in order to witness and live their millennial experience in so many places in the Middle East.”
Read more from this comprehensive interview with Cardinal Sandri, including about the role of CNEWA.