The Council of Latin Bishops in the Arab countries convened at Our Lady of the Mountain Center in Beirut alongside representatives of their respective churches including priests, nuns and lay people in preparation for the Synod meetings which opens in Beit ‘Anya, Harissa, on Monday, February 13.
The bishops from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and the Gulf states listened to the reports that were prepared in preparation for the start of the Synod sessions. These reports–prepared by the bishops, priests, nuns, and the faithful participating in the Synod–will be collected with all the reports issued by the Churches of the Middle East, the Gulf region, and North Africa in order to be incorporated in a final report at the end of the Synod sessions. They will be forwarded to Rome so as to be included in the sessions of the Synod which will be held in October 2023.
After listening to the reports and suggestions made by the delegates, a discussion ensued between the bishops and the participants. Later, they lifted up prayers for the Church in Syria, whose apostolic administrator, namely Fr. Raymond Jerjes, was unable to attend sessions due to the situation in his diocese in Aleppo, where there have been many victims following the devastating earthquake that struck the area.
During the meeting, tribute was paid to Bishop Paul Hinder who is awaiting acceptance for his resignation from the Vatican. For his part, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa thanked Bishop Hinder, who was the pastor of his parish in Abu Dhabi for several years and served for two years as apostolic administrator of the Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where he received His Holiness Pope Francis twice, the first in 2019 in Abu Dhabi, and the second in 2022 in Bahrain.