Eastern Catholic Patriarchs to Meet With Pope

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Seven Eastern Catholic patriarchs will meet with Benedict XVI on Saturday to speak about relations with Islam and other issues affecting their Churches.

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According to Vatican Radio, other topics of discussion will include the increase of fundamentalism in the Middle East and the situation of Christians there, the importance of dialogue with Muslims, the legislation for Eastern Catholic patriarchs in the universal Church, and the ecclesiastic jurisdiction in Kuwait and the nations of the Persian Gulf region.

The delegation is made up of the Maronite patriarch, Nasrallah Sfeir; the Armenian Catholic patriarch, Nerses Bedros XIX; the Syro-Catholic patriarch, Ignace Youssef III Younan; the Melkite patriarch, Gregory III; the Chaldean patriarch, Emmanuel III Delly; the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal; and by the Coptic patriarch, Antonios Nagib.

Regarding the issue of the Persian Gulf nations, the patriarchs will discuss with the Holy Father the changing dynamic of the Churches in those nations due to the arrival of thousands of emigrating Christians.

According to AsiaNews, during their time in Rome, the patriarchs will also have a preparatory meeting for the synod of bishops special assembly for the Middle East, which could be held next year.

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