Stanislas Wielgus, rector of KUL, the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland,: "We were the only university between the Elbe and the Pacific where free politicians could think for themselves, where Ukrainian Catholics could study theology and where Jews ousted from the state universities in 1968 were made welcome."
Bishop Ivan Martyinak, Ukrainian bishop of Przemsyl in eastern Poland: "We need a separate episcopal conference for the Oriental bishops of Europe and a Catholic university other than Lublin."
Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in communion with Rome and therefore a key player: "We must value the theology, spirituality and culture of the Orthodox churches while remembering that this precious patrimony is shared by the Oriental churches that still live in full communion with Peter's successor." Perhaps the most important statement of the synod so far.
Jan Hirka, Ruthenian (or Greek) bishop of Presov, Slovakia: "In our country, love not only lost its face, it lost even its name."
Metropolitan Spyridon Papagheorghiu, representing the ecumenical patriarch, Bartholemew II: "We have the impression that you have retreated from Vatican II, that you do not treat us as a sister church and that the ecumenical progress of the last decades has been gravely compromised."
Jean-Eugene Fischer, general secretary of the European Council of Churches (linking 120 churches): "We don't want a mad rush to the East, as though the church didn't already exist there. Missionaries who pay no heed to the local churches are a menace."
Bishop Mesron Krikorian, Armenian, pointed out that his church was "baptized" between 301 and 314 (sic). He quoted an early letter to Persian King Yazdagert III: "From our Christian faith, nobody can separate us. . . . Our faith is as color is to the skin: They cannot be separated from each other." □
( September 11, 1992) Erfurt, Germany -- It would be premature to write the obituary of Pope John Paul II. Yet the operation to remove