16-September-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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May The Gospel Continue To Resonate In The Region Which Saw Jesus' Actions And Heard His Words

Vatican City, 16 September 2012 (VIS) - At the end of today's Eucharistic celebration, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, arose and invited the Holy Father to consign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Medio Oriente" to Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East, presidents of the episcopal conferences of Turkey and Iran, and a number of lay faithful. The Exhortation is the final document of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in October 2010 on the theme: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East: Communion and witness. 'The company of those who believed were of one heart and soul'".

Benedict XVI expressed his hope that the Exhortation would be "be a guide to follow the various and complex paths where Christ goes before you. May communion in faith, hope and charity be strengthened in your countries and in every community so as to make credible your witness to the Triune God, Who has drawn close to each one of us", he said.

"Dear Church in the Middle East, draw from the source of salvation which became a reality in this unique and beloved land! Follow in the footsteps of your fathers in faith, who by tenacity and fidelity opened up the way for humanity to respond to the revelation of God! Among the wonderful diversity of saints who flourished in your land, look for examples and intercessors who will inspire your response to the Lord's call to walk towards the heavenly Jerusalem, where God will wipe away every one of our tears! May fraternal communion be a support for you in your daily life and the sign of the universal brotherhood which Jesus, the first born of many, came to bring! Thus, in this region which saw His actions and heard His words, may the Gospel continue to resonate as it did 2000 years ago, and may it be lived today and forever!"

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