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Our World

Stories and events from around the world of CNEWA.

Cardinal OConnor Gathers Lebanese-Americans to discuss Lebanon

Fulfilling a pledge made while in the Middle East in January, John Cardinal O’Connor invited a select group of Lebanese-American community leaders to his residence on 26 Feb.

The assembly, made up of Catholics, Orthodox, Shi’ite Sunni and Druze, were challenged by the cardinal to coordinate their efforts toward rebuilding Lebanon.

“I am unconditionally committed to do whatever I can,” he pledged. “If I can support the Lebanese people I will do so.”

Interfaith Notes

Following his trip to the Middle East in January, John Cardinal O’Connor provided a comprehensive account of the trip to members of the American-Jewish community. The group was grateful for the cardinal’s work toward peace in the region.

Msgr. Robert L. Stern was invited to speak to members of the Islamic/Roman Catholic Dialogue of the Archdiocese of New York. The dialogue members were especially interested in the cardinal’s meeting with representatives of the Muslim and Druze communities in Lebanon.

On another note, Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi, the head of an Islamic center in Detroit, Mich., visited our New York offices in late February.

A young man from Teheran, Iran, the imam cares for the numerous Shi’ites living in the Detroit area. He spoke eloquently about the kinship of all believers, Christians, Jews and Muslims.

The Association Speaks

Father James L. Moynihan, our associate secretary general, took an eager crowd on a “tour” through the countries served by Catholic Near East.

Father Moynihan spoke at the Catholic chapel at the Naval Air Engineering Center in Lakehurst, New Jersey, where more than 400 parishioners contributed to a special collection to further our work.

Pontifical Mission Funds Papal Pronouncements on the Gulf War

At a press conference marking the first anniversary of the Gulf War, Archbishop Renato R. Martino, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, announced the publication of “John Paul II For Peace in the Middle East.”

Funded by a special grant from the Pontifical Mission for Palestine, the pope’s special agency for refugees in the Middle East, the 241-page book features papal statements, prayers and letters advocating dialogue, justice and peace during the Gulf crisis.

“Everyone knows that war has no other logic than that of ‘deplorable bombardments,’” the archbishop said. Quoting the pope, he added, “‘Now more than ever before, war appears as a germ of death.’”

Supporting Iraqi Christian Refugees

In a report from the Little Sisters of Jesus, the sisters described in great detail the plight of 5,000 Assyrian Christian and Chaldean Catholic refugees trapped in the mountains of Turkey.

Disease, exploitation, persecution, starvation and unemployment plague thousands of these forgotten Christians who fled the horrors of war and persecution in Iraq to inhospitable Turkey.

Catholic Near East has given the congregation $5,800 –part of our on-going commitment to these Christian refugees – which the sisters will distribute to needy families and to purchase necessary commodities.

Return to India

Mrs. Kamini Desai Sanghvi, program coordinator for India, completed the final phase of a two-part trip to India last January and February with stops in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Mrs. Sanghvi evaluated the on-going needs of the churches and assessed currently-funded projects.

The personal presence of the Association denotes our encouragement, support and solidarity for India’s growing Eastern Christian community – the largest recipient of support from our members.

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