Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Consultation Held in New York
24-October-2012 -- ZENIT.org News Agency
Gathering of Oriental Orthodox and Roman Catholic Consultation Held in
Leaders Discuss Immigration and Plight of Middle East Christians
WHITE PLAINS, NY, OCT. 24, 2012 (Zenit.org).- A group of 20 participants
representing the Roman Catholics and five Oriental Orthodox churches
gathered in New York for the two day Oriental Orthodox-Roman Catholic
Consultation last week. Leaders from both churches agreed that they
would benefit from a better exchange of information regarding the
programs available for new immigrant arrivals in the United States. The
meeting was held at the Divine Compassion Spirituality Center in White
As part of its mission to foster Christian unity, the Secretariat for
Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops (USCCB) meets annually with members of the Oriental Orthodox
churches. Along with ministering to immigrant communities, the dialogue
also discussed the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York, and Metropolitan Mor Cyril
Aphrem Karim of the Eastern Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church of
Antioch (Oriental Orthodox) co-chaired the dialogue. This was the
Metropolitan's first meeting since his appointment as new co-chairman of
the dialogue. He succeeds Very Reverend Chorbishop John Meno, also of
the Syriac Orthodox Church, who had served as Oriental Orthodox
co-chairman since 1985 and recently retired from the active ministry.
The members expressed their gratitude to Father Meno for his many years
of faithful service to this dialogue.
Presenters at the dialogue were Maronite Catholic Bishop Gregory Mansour
of Brooklyn, Allison Posner, director of advocacy for the Catholic Legal
Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), Julianne Barsoum Jabaly of the
Syriac Orthodox Church, and Michael Guglielmo, executive director of the
Armenian Eastern Diocese.
On Monday evening the members traveled to St. Nersess Armenian Seminary
in New Rochelle, New York. Together they celebrated Armenian Vespers in
the seminary chapel and attended a dinner hosted by Father Daniel
Findikyan, the rector. Later in the evening the members had a
wide-ranging discussion of major events in the lives of their churches
both in the United States and overseas.
On Tuesday morning the dialogue examined the situation of Christians in
the Middle East. Bishop Mansour presented the recent Apostolic
Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI, Ecclesia in Medio Oriente. He
discussed the structure and functioning of the Synod of Bishops, and
what the document had to say about the Christian presence in that part
of the world. The members are deeply worried about the future of
Christian communities in the region.