Dominican Institute in Cairo
Cairo’s Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies, which was established in 1945 to enhance dialogue between Christians and Muslims, occupies a unique niche in Christian-Muslim relations.
Long supported by CNEWA, the institute will build an independent library to house its growing collection of reference works. The library is a vital part of the institute, deeply respected and utilized by Muslim and Christian scholars.
Catholic Press Impressed
On 24 May, at its annual meeting in Denver, the Catholic Press Association awarded Catholic Near East magazine five awards.
One award was received for general excellence, two for cover design and two for photography.
At the same meeting, Michael La Civita, Executive Editor of Catholic Near East, took office as a newly elected member of the Board of Directors of the association.
An American member of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Brother Vincent Malham, F.S.C., has been appointed Vice Chancellor, or chief executive officer, of Bethlehem University. Previously, Brother Vincent was Provincial of the St. Louis Province.
Brother Vincent replaces Brother Ronald Gallagher, F.S.C., who will assume the office of Secretary General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
Bethlehem University, which serves approximately 2,000 students, Christian and Muslim, is the only Catholic institution for higher education in Palestine.
On Thursday, 10 April, Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine, briefed U.S. government leaders in Washington, D.C., about the situation of the church in the Holy Land, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and various concerns about the peace process. Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, accompanied the Archbishop.
Among the officials visited were Ms. Toni Verstandig, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs; Ambassador Dennis Ross, Special Middle East Coordinator; Representative Lee Hamilton, Ranking Minority Member, House International Relations Committee; and Representative Chris Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Human Rights.
Afterward, Archbishop di Montezemolo met with Christian, Jewish and Muslim interlocutors at an evening reception.
Eastern Europe’s Eastern Churches
The Eastern Catholic bishops of Eastern Europe, members of funding agencies and others concerned with the Eastern Catholic churches met from 30 June to 6 July to discuss the status and role of these communities following the region’s historic changes and the publication of the Instruction by the Holy See’s Congregation for the Eastern Churches.
The meeting, which was held in Hajdudorog, Hungary, was chaired by Achille Cardinal Silvestrini, Prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. Chorbishop John D. Faris, Assistant Secretary General of CNEWA, represented the association.
Father Reidy Honored
The Holy Father has named Father Robert P. Reidy, Director of our Jerusalem office, as a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor.
A priest of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, Msgr. Reidy served with distinction as a chaplain in the United States Navy for 26 years.
In August 1996, Msgr. Reidy was appointed Director of our Jerusalem office and, in November, he was named Director of our Amman office as well.
Syriac Convention in Chicago
At the invitation of Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, the Pro Oriente Syriac Commission, which includes representatives from Orthodox and Catholic Syriac churches as well as Latin Catholics, hosted the Third Syriac Consultation for Dialogue within the Syriac Tradition in Chicago, 8-11 July.
Orthodox and Catholic theologians delivered scholarly addresses to the consultation participants, who also attended a liturgy in a different Syriac tradition each evening. Brother David Carroll, F.S.C., Assistant to the Secretary General, represented CNEWA at the meetings.
Pro Oriente was founded in 1964 by Franc Cardinal König, then Archbishop of Vienna, to promote ecumenical relations between the Catholic and non-Catholic Eastern churches.
An Historic Visit to Lebanon
Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims welcomed Pope John Paul II in an outpouring of affection and respect, said Msgr. Stern and Father Denis J. Madden, Associate Secretary General. Their presence in the Pope’s entourage had been requested by the Holy See because of CNEWA’s extensive work in Lebanon on behalf of the Holy Father.
Tens of thousands lined the flag-draped streets to cheer as Pope John Paul passed through Christian and Muslim neighborhoods.
During his 31-hour visit the Pope led a youth rally at which he formally signed the apostolic exhortation A New Hope for Lebanon, which closed the Special Assembly on Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops.
The document established new pastoral guidelines for Lebanon and urged more intensive Christian-Muslim dialogue.
Working with Knights and Ladies
The Cardinal Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Carlo Cardinal Furno, and its Governor General, Count Ludovico C. Artenisio, have asked Msgr. Stern to participate in a reexamination of the order’s government, mission, constitution and formation of new members, in preparation for a 1998 consulta.