VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received participants in the annual general meeting of the Reunion of Organisations for Aid to the Oriental Churches (ROACO). The meeting had focused on the situation in the Holy Land and on the Catholic Church in Bulgaria.
"Charity", said the Pope, "is the fertile source of all forms of service to the Church, it is their measure, their method and the means by which they are verified. Through your membership of ROACO you wish to live in charity, making yourselves available to the Bishop of Rome through the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. In this way you will be able to continue, even to augment, that 'movement of charity which, by papal mandate, the Congregation supervises so that, in a disciplined and equitable way, the Holy Land and other eastern regions may receive the spiritual and material support necessary for ordinary ecclesial life and for special needs".
After then recalling his own recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Benedict XVI went on: "I renew my prayer and my appeal for no more war, no more violence, no more injustice. I wish to assure you that the Universal Church remains at the side of all our brothers and sisters who reside in the Holy Land. This concern is reflected in a special way in the annual Holy Land collection. I therefore exhort your ROACO agencies to continue their charitable activities with zeal and with fidelity to the Successor of Peter".
The Pope also turned his attention to the recently inaugurated Year for Priests, calling upon his audience "to give maximum attention to caring for clergy and supporting seminaries". He also recalled how, in inaugurating this Jubilee Year on 19 June, "I entrusted all the priests of the world to the Heart of Christ and of Mary Immaculate, with a special thought for those who, in both East and West are experiencing moments of difficulty and trial. I take this occasion", he concluded, "to ask you too to pray for priests".
AC/HOLY LAND/ROACO VIS 20090625 (350)