At Audience, Eastern Patriarchs Hear Plea for Mideast Peace

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 26, 2001 ( John Paul II appealed for a «lasting and honorable peace» this morning when he received in audience six Catholic patriarchs of Eastern Churches.

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Some of the leaders were from the Middle East, which gave the Pope the chance to address the situation in the land «made holy by the preaching of the Redeemer.»

«I can assure you that I personally follow daily all the vicissitudes in which the peoples of the Middle East region are involved and, in communion with the whole Church, I pray daily for the rising dawn of a lasting and honorable peace for all,» the Holy Father said.

In response to a 1998 papal request, the Eastern leaders gave John Paul II proposals for the concrete living of relations between a patriarch and the Bishop of Rome.

The patriarchs´ proposals will be important in finding solutions to the issue of papal ministry, which divides Catholics and Orthodox.

«The written proposals you gave me will be the object of careful reflection in order to take advantage of any aspect that might contribute to a more effective presence of the Church in today´s world,» the Holy Father told the patriarchs.

The patriarchs are attending the Synod of Bishops, which ends Saturday.

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