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Pope Says Mid East Church Needs Aid from West to Survive

2007-02-01 (Total Catholic) A committee of experts on Eastern Catholic Churches has heard that the continued existence of the Church in the Middle East would be in doubt without continued external aid.
The Societies for Aid to the Eastern Churches, which is part of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches, met in the Vatican last week to focus on Churches in Lebanon , the Holy Land, Romania and Egypt .
Speaking on Vatican Radio after the meeting, congregation secretary Archbishop Antonio Veglio said that high-levels of emigration was threatening the Church.
“We are very worried about the Church,” he said.
“Catholics, Christians, do not see much of a future for their lives in these countries. And then a continuous hemorrhage takes place which makes the Christian presence diminish ever more,” he added.
He also said that the needs of the Church were not just material and that it was important to maintain relationships with both the Coptic Church and Muslims in the region.
Chairman of the Pontifical Mission for Palestine and secretary-general of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association Mgr Robert Stern said: ”All (these) Churches are so small that they do not have the means necessary to guarantee their own existence. External aid is always needed to enable them to continue with their work, the formation of the clergy and that relating to health, education, but also to support the parishes themselves.”