Follow usTwitterFacebook


31 Dec 2015 Q&A Comments (2)

Was I wrong to take the host back to my pew?

Full Question I sit in the first row at Mass because I am hearing-impaired. When visiting a church recently, the usher gestured for me to go up for Communi…

Read more

31 Aug 2016 Uncategorized No comments

Baghdad patriarch urges international community to do more to stop ISIS

Patriarch Sako said Christians are waiting for governments and religious authorities to work together to 'confront and dismantle terrorism' A Patriarch of the …

Read more

23 Oct 2014 USA Comments (1)

We're 'just touching the surface' of St John Paul II's teachings

Washington D.C., Oct 23, 2014 / 05:02 pm .- St. John Paul II's life and teachings offer a witness to love that is so profound it is only beginning to be be mine…

Read more

08 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (5)

Does the Sunday observance begin on Saturday evening, in imitation of the Jewish sabbath?

Full Question In ancient Judaism the sabbath was from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. If Sunday is the Christian sabbath, should we celebrate it …

Read more

10 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Church’s mission is not political, says Coptic pope

As Egypt prepares for parliamentary elections, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to which most of the nation’s Christians belong, emphasized that the “Cop…

Read more

27 Jan 2015 Articles Comments (2)

Catholics! Keep Your Trees Up!

New Year’s Day promises two certainties: college football bowl games and Christmas trees on the curb. To Catholics, of course, January 1 is the Solemnity …

Read more

17 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

Pope Asks for Prayers for Upcoming Trip to Albania

At the end of today's general audience, Pope Francis greeted those present in various languages. In his greetings in Arabic, he addressed the faithful of the Ho…

Read more

08 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

Why was it necessary for Jesus to have been born of a woman?

Full Question Why was it necessary for Jesus to have been born of a woman? Answer Vatican II responds: The Father of mercies willed that the Inc…

Read more

16 Sep 2014 Vatican No comments

2015 World Meeting of Families Will Help Synod on the Family

The 8th World Day of Families, to be held in Philadelphia from September 22-27, 2015, was presented today in the Holy See Press Office. The theme of the event w…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Catholics join forces with Russian Orthodox to rebuild churches in Syria

Project is the ‘first concrete outcome’ of the Pope’s meeting with Patriarch Kirill

Russia’s Catholic Church has launched a joint project with Russian Orthodox leaders to rebuild churches and monasteries destroyed during the war in Syria.

Mgr Igor Kovalevsky, secretary-general of the Russian bishops’ conference, said the project should be viewed as the “first concrete outcome” of Pope Francis’s February meeting in Cuba with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.

The official also said the move did not indicate support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“While we’ve been in contact with the Assad government, this isn’t a political matter,” he told Catholic News Service.

Less than a week earlier, the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate representatives announced the project. Mgr Kovalevsky said the announcement did not include details of money raised or the programme’s likely starting date.

“We hope all Russia’s denominations will actively help this work and all Christians participate in raising necessary funds,” Mgr Kovalevsky said.

“It’s very important that the Pope’s talks with the patriarch were observed by the whole world, thus focusing attention on the plight of Syria’s Christian communities. But we must occupy ourselves, as religious confessions, in settling this catastrophe with humanitarian aid and avoid being drawn into the politics.”

In early April, a Russian ecumenical delegation visited Lebanon and Syria. Peter Humeniuk, Russia director of the international Aid to the Church in Need, said the group had met local Christian leaders and visited a refugee camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley before travelling on to Damascus.

He added that the project would include rebuilding destroyed parish houses, as well as helping children in the embattled city of Homs.

Pope Francis met Patriarch Kirill at the Havana airport on February 12 and urged an end to the persecution of Middle East Christians in a 30-point joint declaration.

More than a quarter of a million Syrians have been killed and nearly half the population forced from their homes since war erupted in March 2011. At least five million Syrians now live outside the country, according to UN data.

Pope Francis led prayers on April 24 for Catholic and Orthodox clergy kidnapped in the country, where Christians have been targeted for acts of violence by terrorist organisations such as the Islamic State and the Nusra Front.


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories