The Synod of Bishops on the Middle East closed with a papal Mass today. The final message is oddly silent on the vanishing Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq

By Robert Moynihan, reporting from Rome

“Work to find a peaceful solution”

“The citizens of the countries of the Middle East call upon the international community, particularly the United Nations conscientiously to work to find a peaceful, just and definitive solution in the region, through the application of the Security Council’s resolutions and taking the necessary legal steps to put an end to the occupation of the different Arab territories.

“The Palestinian people will thus have an independent and sovereign homeland where they can live with dignity and security.

“The State of Israel will be able to enjoy peace and security within their internationally recognized borders.

“The Holy City of Jerusalem will be able to acquire its proper status, which respects its particular character, its holiness and the religious patrimony of the three religions: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. We hope that the two-State-solution might become a reality and not a dream only.

“Iraq will be able to put an end to the consequences of its deadly war and re-establish a secure way of life which will protect all its citizens with all their social structures, both religious and national. —A portion of the “Final Message” of the Bishops’ Synod on the Middle East, published on Saturday, October 23, 2010


At the final press conference on Saturday at the close of the Bishops’ Synod on the Middle East, there was not a single question on Iraq, where the ancient Chaldean Catholic Church has declined in number from about 1.5 million to under 500,000 over the past seven years of military occupation and civil strife.

In the 10-page “Final Message” of the Synod, Iraq received just two lines (the last two lines of the selection above).

And so the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq is vanishing amid general silence.

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life.” —St. Paul, First Letter to Timothy 6:12

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— Does the motu proprio overcome some of the liturgical confusion since Vatican II?
— Who was Annibale Bugnini?
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