October 25, 2010

The Catholic Church around the world needs to reach out to the churches in the Middle East and be a source of hope for its people, said Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto.

The archbishop suggested that bishops create twin dioceses to encourage and sustain each other as well as promote pilgrimages to the Middle East.

“Dioceses from far away cannot fundamentally affect the economic causes of emigration, but we can support local initiatives to increase employment,” Collins said to the synod Oct. 14.

“Simply encouraging Christians from around the world to visit the Middle East despite the difficulties will benefit local communities as well as build bonds of communion to give hope to the Christians who live there,” he said.

Creating twin dioceses would support the Church in different parts of the world, he added. “The prime goal is that Christians remain in the Middle East and not leave it.”