EUROPE / ITALY – Armenian Catholic bishops summoned to Rome to elect the Patriarch. Cardinal Sandri: may the Spirit of Christ help to overcome the logic of alignment
Rome (Agenzia Fides) – âEach of us is called in these days as disciples of Jesus after the Resurrection, in Galilee, the place of the first call and the formation of disciples, because through you and your choices the Patriarchal Church of Cilicia of Armenians can experience a new beginning. “Thus, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, addressed the bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church during the Divine Liturgy celebrated at the end of the afternoon of Monday September 20 in Rome, at the Pontifical Armenian College âat Urbeâ, to invoke the assistance of the Holy Spirit on the work of the next elective synod convened in the Eternal City by Pope Francis to choose the new Patriarch, successor of Krikor Bedros XX Ghabroyan, who died on May 25.
The Armenian Catholic bishops, as Agenzia Fides reports (see Fides, 7/7/2021 and 28/8/2021), had already participated in a Synod for the meeting of the new Patriarch summoned to the Lebanese convent of Our Mother of Bzommar. which started on June 22. The meetings of this synod, however, ended without success. In a fortnight’s meeting, no candidate had obtained two-thirds of the votes of the 12 bishops participating in the Synod, the threshold required for the election of the new Patriarch. At that time, according to what is established by the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, the sessions of the elective Synod had been interrupted and the matter had been referred to the Pope, who summoned the Armenian Catholic bishops to Rome to participate in a new elective Synod hosted at the Pontifical Armenian College in Rome, under the presidency of Cardinal Sandri, at the head of the Vatican Dicastery for the Eastern Churches.
The Divine Liturgy which took place on Monday September 20 at the Pontifical Armenian College was presided over by Boutros Marayati, Archbishop of Aleppo and administrator of the Patriarchal Church, and was concelebrated by all the bishops participating in the Synod who had already arrived in Rome. . In the homily delivered during the Eucharistic celebration, Cardinal Sandri indicated with effective words the horizon in which the Armenian Catholic bishops are called to exercise their ecclesial responsibility, choosing a new patriarch to lead the Patriarchal Church of Cilicia. Armenians.
“Let us begin”, said the Argentinian cardinal among others, “with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, and we will continue to nourish ourselves with the sacrament of the altar in these days, saying with a concrete gesture the primacy that we must and want to give to Christ, going beyond all human logic, thought or alignment.
We cannot ignore that these dimensions exist, and it would be hypocritical to deny them, but we are called to ask ourselves to what extent we are able to allow our reasoning to be transformed by placing them before the light of Christ. We “continued the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches” believe that on the altar, by the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church, the elements of the earth, such as bread and wine, are assumed and transformed, becoming the presence of Jesus, who died and Rose for us. However, we who are constituted ministers of the Eucharist, who invoke the outpouring of the Spirit of consecration in the epiclesis, sometimes run the risk of putting limits on the Paraclete, keeping in us, in our heart or in our judgment of others as gray areas where the only criterion is personal or, worse, that of the spirit of the world “.
Quoting the invocations of Saint Gregory of Narek, son of Armenian Christianity proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Francis, âwho never ceases in his writings to invoke the Lord from the experience of darkness and sinâ, a reminded Cardinal Sandri to the Armenian bishops to take charge in their choices of the intimate spiritual and pastoral emergencies which punctuate the life of the Armenian Catholic communities scattered around the world: “The Church of Cilicia of the Armenians” said among others the Cardinal ” knows that its faithful are now present on almost every continent: the sufferings of the past and the present, the search for a stable and secure home, the escape from the powers that have undermined their lives have led them to disperse. They need pastors who lead them, know how to call them by name like the good shepherd described in the Gospel does. âThis is whyâ the new Patriarch must not be only Caput and Pater by traditional definition. Head. only insofar as he can become a servant, Father because he will feel responsible for all his children. âBy making their choices – said Cardinal Sandri – the Armenian Catholic bishops but also the future Patriarch will be able to find inspiration and comfort in the wealth of its own Tradition, bearing in mind that “the Armenian people know very well the experience of violence and persecution up close, but no power or human force has been able to remove the name of Christ from their lips “.
A note from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, sent to Agenzia Fides, reports that today, Tuesday September 21 and on the morning of Wednesday September 22, the participants in the Synod will participate in a spiritual retreat, with dictated meditations. by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome. Then, from Wednesday afternoon, Cardinal Sandri will open the elective session, which he will preside on behalf of Pope Francis, according to the legislation approved by the Bishop of Rome himself, in order to ensure a positive outcome to the elective assembly. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 9/21/2021)