Pope opens MidEast summit

POPE Benedict yesterday opened a crisis summit of Middle East bishops to discuss the future of Christians in the region and insisted they have a right to live in their homelands.

War and violence in Iraq and the Holy Land have provoked an exodus of thousands of Christians. Harsh economic conditions have also prompted many faithful to leave.

“Living with dignity in one’s homeland is a fundamental human right,” and “conditions of peace and justice are indispensable for a harmonious development of all the region’s inhabitants,” Benedict said, expressing hope that faithful can “can experience the joy of living in the Holy Land”.

Later, addressing pilgrims and tourists in St Peter’s Square, the Pope lamented that the Middle East is “marked by deep divisions and torn by age-old conflicts”. Yet the Catholic Church must be a “sign and instrument of unity and reconciliation,” he said.

When he greeted the bishops, the Pope stressed that the meeting’s aim was mainly pastoral, although it cannot ignore “the delicate, and at times dramatic social and political situation of several countries”.

The gathering should also foster dialogue with Jews and Muslims, said the Pope.


IT IS movie award season and Irish designers and their luxury creations were the stars of the silver screen this week.From red carpet to luxe rugs: Ireland's designers get movie-star treatment

Falsies don’t have to be fiddly, says Katie Wright.5 common myths about false lashes

Hiring professional designers to guide you through a home revamp can get you what you want, which doesn’t necessarily have to be what TV home improvement shows tell us, writes Carol O’Callaghan.What a professional interior designer can do for you when planning a home revamp

Kya deLongchamps turns the spotlight on countertop stars to look out for in the last throes of the January sales.Counter culture: Some star kitchen appliance buys

More From The Irish Examiner