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Tuesday, February 8, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 8 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The second meeting of the Special Council for the Middle East of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops took place in the Vatican on 20 and 21 January.

  A communique made public today explains that the meeting was presided by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and that, among other things, participants examined the synodal documents with a view to the preparation of the final document, the Pope's Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

  "The closing message and the other documents of the Synod - which was held in the Vatican in October 2010 - have been diffused and in some cases translated to promote conferences, study and debate among clergy, religious and lay people", says the communique. "The message has also been sent to political figures. In Syria, an international congress was held on the current state of Muslim-Christian relations, especially in Arab countries. In Jerusalem too a meeting of Christians and Jews was organised by the Jerusalem Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations and by the Inter-religious Co-ordinating Council, in order to promote more objective information about the synodal assembly. Ecumenical meetings and sessions of Muslim-Christian dialogue have been held, with considerable participation also by Orthodox. We now await with interest the publication of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

  "The contributions made by individual participants revealed that the general socio-political situation in the various countries of the Middle East remains tense", the communique adds. "Christian communities, especially in areas most affected by violence, need material and moral support, and have the right to exercise their right to freedom of worship and religion. Respect for Christian communities helps to eradicate any hotbeds of anti-Christian sentiment in the Middle East, to halt the emigration of Christians from that region, which is their native land, and to favour the common good".

  The next meeting of the council will take place on 30 and 31 March.
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VATICAN CITY, 8 FEB 2011 (VIS) - Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Sanctus Lino Manok, vicar general of Nebbi, Uganda, as bishop of the same diocese (area 5,098, population 600,177, Catholics 494,677, priests 61, religious 57). The bishop-elect was born in Atyak-Yamo, Uganda in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1986. He succeeds Bishop Martin Luluga, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bologna, Italy, presented by Bishop Ernesto Vecchi, upon having reached the age limit.
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