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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Rome celebrates first Mass in Arabic

2010-02-26

Starting in 2010, Santa Maria in Cosmedin is celebrating the Gospel in Arabic every Thursday.
For Razer-Francois Bitar of Syria, preaching in ones native tongue is as essential as taking the daily bread.

Razer-Francois Bitar
“Worshipping God is a very personal thing, the relation with your heart and God is something you have to grow up with so how could it be if not in your own language.”

The church belongs to the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Many of the worshipers here were born in the Middle East and were born Christian.

Msgr. Mtanius Hadad
Rector of the Basilica

“People tend to think everyone who is from the Middle East is Muslim, but that’s not true, this is a church that speaks Arabic, we are Christian, we were baptized Christian, we are happy.”

But while these parishioners can now practice their faith in their own language, back home, Christians like them are finding it impossible to practice their faith all together. They’re finding themselves as a minority in the place where Christianity was born.

Razer-Francois Bitar
“Christianity came from the Middle East, its roots are almost there from the very beginning of Christ, we in the Middle East want to conserve our faith and practice it among a lot of different religions in the Muslim world.”

Msgr. Mtanius Hadad
Rector of the Basilica

“Slowly since about the 7th century there’s been difficulties. The truth is there have been so many Christians who converted to Islam but it’s impossible for Muslims to convert to Christianity .”

These issues and others including the situation of Catholics in the Middle East and ecumenical dialogue will be addressed later this year at the special synod on the Middle East.  
But for now, Christian Arabs in Rome are  thankful they’re seeing and hearing a sign of progress.

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