Pope and Mar Gewargis condemn persecution of Christians
Pope Francis signed a Common Statement on Friday with Mar Gewargis III, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.
The two religious leaders signed the statement at the end of their meeting in the Vatican, following a moment of prayer for persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
In the statement, the Pope and the Patriarch encourage their ongoing theological dialogue, and call for an end to violence against Christians in the Middle East. They say it is impossible to imagine a Middle East without Christians.
“This conviction is founded not simply on religious grounds, but also on social and cultural realities, since Christians, with other believers, greatly contribute to the specific identity of the region: a place of tolerance, mutual respect and acceptance.”
Pope Francis and Patriarch Gewargis also appeal to the International Community to put in place “a political solution that recognizes the rights and duties of all parties involved.”
Finally, the two leaders affirm the need for interreligious dialogue “grounded in an attitude of openness, truth, and love.”
Holy See appreciates work of UN Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation
The Holy See has commended the work of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), saying its studies and findings will help in a deeper understanding of the effects of atomic radiation and their impact on life and the environment.
Archbishop Bernadito Auza, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, expressed his appreciation in an address on Tuesday at a UN General Assembly meeting on the effects of atomic radiation.
Commenting on the nuclear accidents of Chernobyl (Ukraine) and Fukushima (Japan), he said they are a reminder that the use of nuclear energy comes with very severe risks at times. Hence the need for the international community to take great precaution in the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The Holy See diplomat lamented the deaths and injuries caused by exposure to ionizing radiation after the use of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki , and hoped they will never be repeated. Archbishop Auza noted that the Committee’s update on the Fukushima disaster will be of great value in learning more about the longer-term effects of exposure to radiation.
The Filipino archbishop expressed the Holy See’s appreciation for the Committee’s close cooperation with other UN entities, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), in providing the international community with new data for a deeper understanding of the effects of atomic radiation and their impact on the lives of those affected and on the environment.
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