ONE Magazine

The official publication of
Catholic Near East Welfare Association

Celebrating 50 years | God • World • Human Family • Church

Our World

Stories and events from around the world of CNEWA.

East Greets West

His All Holiness, Dimitrios I, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, completed a pastoral visit to the United States in late July. John Cardinal O’Connor, president of Catholic Near East, met the patriarch at an ecumenical gathering.

The patriarch, whose pastoral visit included Carpo-Ruthenian, Greek and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches, called the multiple ecclesiastical jurisdictions among the Orthodox Church in the United States “a true scandal,” contrary to Orthodox theology and canon law. The divisions are considered schismatic.

Coptic Patriarch Visits States

His Beatitude, Stephanos II Ghattas, Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, stated that relations between Christians and Muslims were generally good, despite increasing pressures from Egypt’s Muslim fundamentalists to convert Christians to Islam.

The patriarch made his statements June 28 during a press conference at Catholic Near East’s New York offices.

“Fanatical Muslims,” the patriarch stated, caused the majority of problems between Egypt’s Muslims and Christians. The patriarch was visiting Coptic Catholics throughout North America.

Reformer Elected Patriarch

On June 7, Metropolitan Alexei of Leningrad, an Estonian, was elected by a synod of bishops, priests, monks and lay persons as Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. In his first press conference, Patriarch Alexei challenged the government’s restrictions on religious education.

Ukrainians are hopeful that the new patriarch, a known ecumenist, will improve ties between the Russian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic Churches.

U.S. Delegation Visits U.S.S.R.

Members of the U.S. Catholic Conference’s Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to Central and Eastern Europe visited Byelorussia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and the Ukraine in August and early September.

The delegation, which included Msgr. Robert L. Stern, met with church leaders to discuss the needs of various churches.

New Papal Nuncio Named to U.S.

Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, former apostolic pro-nuncio of the Holy See to India, has been named apostolic pro-nuncio to the United States, replacing Archbishop Pio Laghi, who now heads the Congregation for Catholic Education.

While nuncio in India, Archbishop Cacciavillan had extensive contacts with Catholic Near East Welfare Association, channeling funds from the Association to its three sponsorship and church building programs. There are more than 11,000 sponsored children in more than 300 institutions in India.

Alexandrian Library Restored

Catholic Near East Welfare Association has furnished a grant of more than $24,000 for the restoration of the library at the Coptic Orthodox Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Egypt.

The library will house current biblical, theological and scholarly works. Each seminarian will also be provided with a bible and an assortment of biblical references and commentaries.

The Association also granted $50,000 to the Coptic Orthodox Church’s anti-drug abuse program. The program includes information on the dangers of drugs, a therapy center and housing for the rehabilitation of addicts.

Patriarch’s Pastoral Epistle

In a pastoral letter written on the Feast of Pentecost, Archbishop Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, called for direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis with “each designating its own representatives.”

In the lengthy letter, the patriarch cited the “great powers” for their “roles in these wars” and urged them to help “bring them to an end. They cannot shrug off their responsibilities.”

“To live in the Holy Land,” the patriarch continued, “is a grace and a particular vocation.”

Sister Maureen Returns to States

The Pontifical Mission’s field director in Beirut since 1986, Sister Maureen Grady, C.S.C., has been appointed chief operating officer of the agency.

“Sister Maureen has done so much,” said Archbishop Pablo Puenta, papal nuncio to Lebanon, “to build the Church in Lebanon, not just the Pontifical Mission.”

Sister Maureen, a member of the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Cross, was awarded Lebanon’s highest civilian honor, the National Order of Cedar, shortly before leaving Lebanon.

Sister Maureen will oversee Pontifical Mission operations in Vatican City, New York. Beirut, Jerusalem and Amman.

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