Synod Fathers Visit Italian President

Napolitano Affirms Importance of Assembly for Mideast

ROME, OCT. 13, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A delegation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops visited the president of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano.

The synod is currently under way in Rome until Oct. 24. Today in the Quirinale, the presidential palace, Napolitano met with Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, Maronite patriarch of Antioch; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches; Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan, patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians; Patriarch Antonios Naguib, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts; Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, patriarch of Antioch for the Greek Melkite Church; Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem; Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Catholic patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, Lebanon; Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, with Monsignor Fortunato Frezza, undersecretary of the synod, and Father Ambrogio Ivan Samus.

On the part of the Italian government, some participants included the secretary of state for foreign affairs, Stefania Craxi and the ambassador of Italy to the Holy See, Antonio Zanardi Landi.
 
After the interventions of Archbishop Eterovic, Patriarch Naguib, Patriarch Younan and Cardinal Sandri, Napolitano greeted those present, describing the current synod for the Middle East as “an event of historical importance.”
 
He said, “I believe that, in fact, this great current of dialogue of the monotheist religions, which the Catholic Church pursues with much conviction — the present Pontiff does so personally — is truly one of the fundamental paths to ensure reconciliation between the civilizations.”
 
Napolitano affirmed, “It is the greatest resources we have to nourish our hope and to pursue our ideals and our objectives.”

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