Concluding a semiannual meeting on 24 June convened by the Holy See’s Congregation for the Eastern Churches, the pope made a strong appeal to those agencies supporting the churches of the East:
“I ask you to do everything possible — including intervening with public authorities that you interact with on an international level — to ensure that the pastors and faithful of Christ can remain in the East where they were born, not as strangers but as citizens (Ephesians 2:19) who bear witness to Jesus Christ as the saints of the Eastern churches did before them.
“The East is their earthly homeland,” the pope continued. “It is there that they are called today to promote, without distinction, the good of all mankind. Everyone professing this faith must be recognized as having equal dignity and true freedom, thus favoring more fruitful ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration.”
From 21 to 24 June, some 30 international organizations, including CNEWA, met in Rome to plan and coordinate its aid to the Middle East, a crucial endeavor following last October’s special assembly of the synod of bishops and the demonstrations rocking the region since December.