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Arkansas Catholic
Litlte Rock, Arkansas
May 19, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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May 19, 1991

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PAGE 10 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC MAY 19, 1991 Head of MECC welcomes Catholics By Tracy Early New York (CNS) -Adding Catholic mem- bers to the Middle East Council of Churches is helping heal divisions among members of the Christian minority in the region so they can act and speak as one, said the coundl's general secretary. "We cannot afford to be divided in the Middle East," said Gabriel Habib, an Ortho- dox layperson of the Church headed by Antiochan Patriarch Ignatius IV of Damas- CL1S. "In dealing with problems such as hu- man rights in an Islamic society, the divi- sions among Christians are a weakness. We don't want to be a bloc against anybody," he said. After much discussion, Habib said, the six Eastern-rite Catholic patriarchates of the Middle East- Armenian, Chaldean Coptic, Maronite, Melkite and Syrian- and the Latin- rite patriarchate of Jerusalem were accepted as council members at a general assembly held last year in Nicosia, Cyprus. Maronite Bishop Joseph Khoury of Tyre, Lebanon, who played a key role in member- ship discussions as chair of the Catholic ecumenism commission, was elected one of four council presidents. A sign of growing unity in the Middle East, Habib said, is the new practice of church leaders in Jerusalem issuing joint statements. That carries special importance, he said, for Christian Palestinians, who need to act in unity as they face problems with Israel and aggressive Islamic movements. Habib said the Middle East Council had been able to set up a committee with repre- sentatives of all churches in Iraq to receive aid. Shortly after the Gulf War ended, he said, the Middle East Coundl of Churches began sending almost weekly truck convoys with food and medicine to Iraq. The churches there give some of the aid to their own members, and turn the rest over to the Red Crescent (the Arab equivalent of the Red Cross) for distribution among the general population, Habib said. He said all the Catholic churches were gradually adapting their programs to work through the various departments of the Middle East-council. And the coundl is al- tering its structures to take account of the broader membership. Habib said the coundl hopes that as its member churches begin working more closely together, it can develop closer work- ing relationships with outside supportive agendes such as Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Success of the Middle East cour~cil in bring together Orthodox Christians and Eastern- rite Catholics, Habib said, could prove help- ful in areas such as Eastern Europe where the two groups are often in tension. Although the Orthodox have tradition- ally expressed hostility toward Eastern-rite Catholics, and charged that their member- ship was made up largely of converts draw away from the Orthodox Church, he said, in the Middle 'East their legitimacy is now recognized by the Orthodox, and the two groups sit side by side at coundl meetings. lib Life's & Downs e recognize you need a sense of worth... that you seek challenge and respect.., that you require cooperation plus the autonomy to make patient care decisions. You'll find St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center is the place for you. Our commitment is to help you do your best -- for us and for you. At St. Vincent, you'll find plenty of chances to perform at your professional peak. As a major regional medical center and teaching hospital, research and innovation are our daily goals. Our nearly 700 beds and 40+ acres allow us to offer the finest in health care to patients statewide. 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Share a Tradition of Teamwork and High.Technology mNemrr I ~J L~ INFIRMARY MEDICAL CENTER I Two St. Vincent Circle I Little Rock, Arkansas 72205 .---,- , CATHOLIC VIEWS GUN CONTROL SOURCE: September 1988 Gallup Poll of 1,001 adults, with a 4-point margin of error. ALL AMERICANS CATHOLICS Favor registration of all firearms Favor license for all guns carried outside the home Favor national law requiring 7-day waiting 91% 94/o period before a handgun could be purchased Own a gun 51 /o 38 O/O ~1991 CNS Graphics Mexican, U.S. bishops meet on trade plan By Bill Prichard Bishop Emilio Carlos Berlie Belaunzarao of Tijuana, Mexico, said he favors the effort Washington (CNS) - A delegation of to erase economic barriers. He said that it Mexican bishops huddled with members of could be a "moral" as well as an economic the U.S. government and labor officials May improvement. 9 to discuss the potential impact of a U.S.- The bishop said that some Mexican Mexico free trade pact being pushed by migrant workers are bigamists and have Washington and Mexico City. wives and children on both tides of the Partidpants said the discussions covered" border. If the pact keeps workers in Mexico, issues such as the possible effect on the en- that's good economically and for Mexica vironment as well as the opportunity to family life, he said. provide jobs in Mexico which could result He dismissed as '] ofifics" U.S. labor ely in fewer Mexicans entering the U.S. iUe- jections that a free trade agreement would gaily in search of work. draw job-creating investment away from the The talks were held at the U.S. Catholic U.S. He noted that American firms make Conference building in Washington, head- such investments in the Japanese, Europea quarters of the U.S. bishops, and other foreign economies. A trade pact would eliminate mutual The U.S. and Mexico are in a "geograpbF regulatory and financial barriers to invest- cal marriage," the bishop said, and muW" ment and exports, allowing, for instance, ally beneficial economic ties make sense. American firms to easily open branches in Environment protection has been a core Mexico. cern raised by the bishops and other corn" Thomas Donohue, a top official of thementators on the potential trade arrange" Ab2A O, expressed worry that a pact would merit. cost jobs in the U.S. when American firms head south of the border to take advantage One question has been whether Ameri- of cheaper labor. , can firms operating in Mexico would strive He also called the Bush administration's to meet that country's stringent, but poorly promise to find a way to help U.S. workers enforced, environmental laws. who wind up unemployed as a result of an The Mexican bishops have raise the is- agreement a ~joke." sue publicly a number of times. o j/ergo Chrfst an Counseling for PSYCHOLOGICAL - EDUCATIONAL EVAI~ATIONS Member of Christ the King Parish Licensed by AR Board of Examlnem in Psychology. Member Assoc. of Christian Therapists. Over 20 yrs. experience, 13 tn private practice 221-9071 1501 N. 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