Annual Roaco meeting: Focus on war-afflicted countries

On June 24 - 27, the 97th assembly of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches takes place in Rome with contributions and reports from the Holy Land and Ukraine.

By Vatican News

The 97th plenary assembly of the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (Roaco) will be held in Rome from Monday, June 24 until Thursday, June 27.  A statement released by the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches says the sessions will take place at the Conference Hall of the General Curia of the Society of Jesus, starting on Monday afternoon.  On Tuesday, the Cardinal Prefect, Claudio Gugerotti, president of Roaco, will preside over the inaugural Eucharistic celebration, during which living and deceased benefactors will be remembered, and prayers for peace will be offered. Countries suffering because of war will be entrusted to the Lord and the intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God will be invoked.

Focus on the Holy Land

In the first assembly, attention will be given to the situation in the Holy Land, with contributions from Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem; the Custos of the Holy Land, Franciscan Francesco Patton; and the Vice-Chancellor of Bethlehem University, Hernan Santos, of the Christian Brothers; information related to the 2023 Pro Terra Sancta Collection will also be shared. In the afternoon, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, will present an overview of the Holy See's current diplomatic activities, with particular reference to Ukraine, the Middle East, and Ethiopia. Subsequently, attention will shift to the Karabakh region, with a report by Gevork Saroyan, head of the Social Service of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and representative of the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians H.H. Karekin II.

Pastoral care of Eastern Catholics outside their territories

Wednesday will be dedicated to reflection on the theme "Pastoral Care of the Eastern Catholics Residing Outside the Territorium Proprium: Challenges and Possibilities Today", with interventions by Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan of Philadelphia for Ukrainian Greek-Catholics; Bishop Frank Y. Kalabat, of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Detroit for Chaldeans; Fr. Éric Millot, Director of the Migration and Mission Office of the French Episcopal Conference; Bishop Antoine Audo, of Aleppo for Chaldeans; and Daoud Boutros Tayeh, Secretary-General of the Pastoral Council of the Maronite Eparchy of Jounieh. Finally, Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, will report on the development of the "Open Hospitals" project.

Audience with the Pope

The work will conclude with the end-of-plenary Steering Committee plan for future appointments. On the morning of Thursday, June 27, an audience with Pope Francis is scheduled.

In addition to the speakers, representatives of the Catholic Agencies that are part of Roaco, superiors and officials of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches, representatives of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State, the Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Pontifical Mission Societies, and the Holy Childhood will participate in the assembly.

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21 June 2024, 17:29