Following the conclusion of the Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, the Synod Fathers issued a statement in which they stated their wish to focus their attention towards the families of the Middle East. The statement reads that the region has been going through bloody disputes for years, where families living there suffer from grave problems that have been aggravated over the past months and weeks.

The statement issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan on Sunday, October 25, adds that the bishops convening in the most supreme Synod in the Church expressed their gratitude to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and several European countries for hosting the refugees. They also urged the international community to put aside their interests and look for effective solutions through diplomatic channels, dialogue, and the implementation of international law.The statement stressed that peace is possible, and it is possible to put an end to violence–which leads to more victims every day in Syria, Iraq and the Holy Land–that exacerbates the humanitarian crisis. Thus, reconciliation is the fruit of brotherhood, justice, respect and forgiveness.

CCSM Director Fr. Rif’at Bader said that paying tribuite to Jordan in such a general and supreme gathering such as the Synod of the Catholic Church–which was chaired by His Holiness Pope Francis and attended over a three-week period by more than 250 cardinals and bishops from all over the world–reflects the high standing and honorable reputation enjoyed by Jordan, among the countries of the world. This is attributed to the policy of moderation and openness which entitled Jordan to open its arms wide and welcome the brotherly refugees and the displaced who fled their homes and their homelands.

Fr. Bader added that the convening Synod Fathers expressed their solidarity with bishops, priests, nuns and all the faithful in the Middle East, calling for the release of the kidnapped people as well as putting an end to the state of terrorism, violence, destruction, persecution and arms trade. They discerned that peace in the Middle East cannot be attained by force but rather through the adoption of political resolutions that respect the cultural and religions particularities of its components.

The Synod statement drew attention to the mass destruction weapons, arbitrary killing, beheading, kidnappings, trafficking in women, persecution based on religious or ethnic affiliations, destruction of places of worship and cultural heritage sites which forced thousands of families to flee their homes, that are mostly plagued by a state of instability, and seek safe havens.

The Synod Fathers, including Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Foaud Twal and the other Catholic patriarchs of the Orient, mentioned at the conclusion of the Synod today, Sunday October 25, that these Middle Eastern families cannot go home nowadays and practise their rights by living in dignity in their homeland and consequently contributing to the construction at home as well as the material and spiritual prosperity of their countries. The statement added that in line with this tragic course, the basic principles of human dignity as well as peaceful coexistence and harmony among peoples are still violated, foremost of which being right to live, religious freedom and the international human law.