Iraq and India in Focus at Vatican Assembly

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 20, 2004 ( A Vatican agency that specializes in helping Eastern-rite Catholic communities is paying particular attention this week to the situation of the faithful in Iraq and India.

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The Assembly of Organizations for Aid to the Eastern Churches, which operates under the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches, is meeting in general assembly through Saturday.

Nineteen aid organizations from the United States, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Austria are represented at the event.

As Iraq moves slowly toward normality, “we wish to know what are the most urgent projects” in regard to health and aid to the population, Monsignor Francesco Brugnaro explained today on Vatican Radio. The monsignor is head of the Vatican aid group known by its Italian acronym ROACO.

In regard to India, the meeting will address the situation of the Eastern rite Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankar Churches in communion with Rome.

“These Churches are very active, in vocational and missionary expansion,” Monsignor Brugnaro said. “They have needs and desire different attention, at times more mature in regard to other situations.”

Others region on the meeting’s agenda include the Holy Land, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Romania and Ukraine.

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