The pope sent a message (old/broken link: https://www.news.va/en/news/pope-celebrates-jubilee-of-catholicos-patriarch-of) today to a leading religious figure in the Middle East, and made special note of the struggles still unfolding in the region:
Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Mar Dinkha IV, catholicos patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.
The Assyrian Church’s historical homeland is in Iraq and other areas of the Middle East, but in recent years has spread across the world due to emigration. In his message, Pope Benedict recalled several ecumenical highlights between the two Churches, including the 1994 Common Declaration on Christology and the establishment of a Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.
Pope Benedict took the occasion to also express his “solidarity with the Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, praying that effective forms of common witness to the Gospel and pastoral collaboration in the service of peace, reconciliation and unity may be deepened between the Catholic and Assyrian faithful.”
You can read the pope’s complete message here (old/broken link: https://www.news.va/en/news/pope-celebrates-jubilee-of-catholicos-patriarch-of).
And for more on the Assyrian Church of the East, check out Against All Odds: the Assyrian Church.