ROME, NOV. 2, 2010 ( The recent Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops was characterized by the "realism of hope," said a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, said this in his most recent editorial for Octava Dies, the weekly news program of the Vatican Television Center.
The priest reflected on what the synod asked of the political leaders in the Middle East, and that the main concern was that "Christians be able to enjoy the rights of citizenship, of liberty of conscience and worship."

He also added that Christians should also have "liberty in the field of teaching and education and in the use of the media."

"They are original and authentic citizens," Father Lombardi underlined, "loyal to their homeland and faithful to all their national duties."
They spokesman said the synod also had a message for the international community regarding the Church's stance on violence and terrorism.

"We condemn violence and terrorism, no matter of what origin or religious extremism," the priest said. "We condemn every form of racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Christianity and Islamophobia, and we call religions to assume their responsibility in the promotion of the dialogue of cultures and of civilizations in our region and in the whole world."
Father Lombardi recalled that three special guests were invited to the assembly who represented Judaism and Islam (on Sunni and one Shiite). He said the speakers were "received with attention and availability and were applauded."

"The members of the synod expressed themselves with great liberty," he continued, "presenting the complex picture of the situation of their ecclesial communities with loyalty and serenity."
"Indeed, it was an assembly with profound roots in a land run through with tensions and dramatic problems, but the ecclesial nature of this assembly, its religious, spiritual motivation made it capable of rising to a higher perspective, to a look animated by that realism of hope that is born form the faith lived in our history," the priest said.
He added, "We hope that all will realize it and recognize it so that the synod can give its fruits, first of all for the Church, but also for all the peoples of the Middle East."