Syrian Orthodox welcome the Pope
- 2001.04.30 AP: Syrian Orthodox welcome the Pope
Visitors outside the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George in the town of
Quneitra on the Golan Heights, Syria, Friday April 27, 2001. The church,
reduced to a concrete shell by departing Israeli troops in 1974, will be
visited by Pope John Paul II on May 7 when he will say a prayer for peace
and tour the town. The remainder of the Golan Heights is under Israeli
control. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)
Rana Abboud, a 15-year-old Sunday school volunteer, cleans a cross outside
a Greek Orthodox chapel in Kawkab, south of Damascus, Tuesday May 1, 2001.
Kawkab is in the area where Christians believe that Jesus appeared to St.
Paul the Apostle sometime in the first century to dissuade him for
persecuting Christians. Pope John Paul II will pay a May 5-8 visit to
Syria, partly to retrace the steps of St. Paul, but he has no plans to
visit Kawkab. (AP Photo/Bassem Tellawi)
NO WELCOME MAT FOR CARDINAL IN ATHENS
Touches an "Open Wound" for Greek Orthodox
ATHENS, Greece, MAY 1, (ZENIT.org-FIDES).- Cardinal Ignace Moussa Daoud,
prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, will not be able to
travel to Athens with the papal entourage because influential Greek
Orthodox don't want him there.
"He is a 'Uniate,' we do not want him," radical Orthodox sectors were
quoted as saying by the Vatican news agency Fides.
"If he comes to Athens, Archbishop Christodoulos, Orthodox primate of
Greece, should not be present at the meeting with John Paul II," they said.
Until last year, the cardinal was Syriac patriarch of Antioch.
Catholic theologian Yannis Spiteris, of Greek origin and a professor of
Orthodox theology, told Fides: "The phenomenon of the 'Uniates' is an open
wound for the Greek Orthodox Church. Catholics incorporated in the past in
the Orthodox Church -- as happened in Eastern Europe under Communism -- who
later returned to the Catholic Church, are called 'Uniates.' Their return
is regarded as a betrayal and the fruit of Catholic proselytism."
Much to its chagrin, the Orthodox Church has had to accept the visit of
John Paul II on Friday and Saturday. The Pope will go to Athens at the
invitation of Greek President Constantinos Stephanopoulos. However,
Orthodox Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens will not speak at the welcoming
ceremony for the Pope, and he has turned down an invitation to dine at the
nunciature in Athens.