Cardinal Sako: A center for Christian and Muslim young people in Baghdad

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Cardinal Sako: A center for Christian and Muslim young people in Baghdad

By Dario Salvi/ asianews.it

A Baghdad based "youth center" with a sports field, a library, a place of culture and meeting; at the same time, increasingly involve the laity, even the young, especially women in managing the affairs of the Church "making the most of their charism".

These are the objectives outlined to AsiaNews by the Chaldean patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, in the last week of work of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to young people, from October 3 to 28 at the Vatican. The cardinal wants to treasure the work, meetings, dialogue and discussions of "these intense days" to strengthen the missionary task of the Church (also) in the Arab and Muslim world, thanks to the "commitment and enthusiasm" of young men and women .

Commenting on the work of the Synod, the Chaldean primate is satisfied for the occasion of confrontation with bishops and priests of other realities, in addition to the meeting and study of the "situation of young people on a human, social and faith level". Unlike other meetings, he speaks of "a different atmosphere, there is no tension but a lot of joy and a youthful style", even if - he observes - "there are not many young people, unfortunately only 36 compared to 268 synod fathers. Maybe there could have been more".

Every reality has its own problems, the experience varies according to the continents and the nations and the work that is carried out by the participants is "edifying". "I think I will return, states Cardinal Sako, with many different ideas and perspectives for our young people" in Iraq. His hope, he continues, "is to give them a new spirit. Many experienced persecutions or being refugees firsthand. I want to open all the doors to them ", because" their charism today is crucial".

The new generations, explains the cardinal, "are the protagonists of the life of the Church. On this occasion Pope Francis and the other Synodal Fathers attacked clericalism and the abuse that is made of it, the power of the Church. Of the young we must enhance their "resources and potential" because they have many "ideas for the life of the Church, they are members of the body of Christ and do not seek pietism but participation".

Among the priorities drawn by the Chaldean patriarch is that of "enhancing the role of women", exploiting "their charism" and also being "a model and a message for Muslims" because even among the believers of Islam the female universe is gaining more and more importance. "I have already begun - he underlines - appointing a woman in the management of the patriarchy's finances and for catechesis. It is important to make them more and more responsible for the life of the Church ".

Finally, Patriarch Sako tells AsiaNews about his "greatest desire:" To set up a youth center in Baghdad, which is also a place for sport, culture, with an open library, internet. A home for young people and a place for listening, discerning, accompanying and managed by a priest or young people already trained in this sense ". "I think it is important - concludes the Cardinal - to increasingly engage the laity in the administration of the dioceses, especially in the administrative part, so the bishop has more time for formation, accompaniment and liturgy. We need so much participation in the life of the Church".

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 12:18
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