“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Report on the final day of ‘the Conference of Catholic Churches in the Middle East’

On the fourth and final day of the sessions of “the Conference of Catholic Churches in the Middle East”, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches and President of the Conference Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti delivered a concluding speech during which he said that he had sensed, during the conference, the vitality of the churches in the Middle East.

He greeted the heads of all these churches, including the patriarchs, the bishops, the priests, the nuns, and the lay people who participated in marking the 10th anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation “The Church in the Middle East: Communion and Testimony”.

Archbishop Gugerotti said that he is always proud of the heritage of the ancestors who often sacrificed their lives for the sake of faith, wrote despite the difficulties they experienced, in addition to the long path of the Cross that they lived and the wonderful eastern liturgies that he admires. He described that as a beautiful heritage because it emerged in a period of difficulties, and it follows the path of communion and faith on which the apostolic exhortation is based. He said from this testimony produces self-sacrifice either with reference to the upbringing of believers, or citizens who are proud of their homelands and the work performed for its development, because we cannot live in isolated islands, but there is always that interaction with sisterly churches and religions, and with all citizens.

Regarding the policy adopted by Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti said that he thanks all the past efforts that have been made, but at the same time this matter is not limited to aid provided to Churches, stressing the need for an integrated vision for the work and mission of Churches, and then their real needs.


Final report

Bishop Munir Khairallah delivered a final report on what happened in the last three days of this conference, where he enumerated the opening speeches delivered by Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, as well as  the addresses delivered by Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan and Cyprus Archbishop Giovanni Pietro Dal Tozo and the address delivered by Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa with reference to the apostolic exhortation on its 10th anniversary.

On the second day, the participants listened to an address by Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia Bishop Paolo Martinelli who talked about upbringing based on faith in the light of Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation which was followed by a lecture delivered by Professor Yousef Al-Hajj on inter-religious relations titled, “From the Era of ISIS to the Era of Human Fraternity”, while Dr. Viola Al-Raheb–a Palestinian living in Vienna–gave a presentation on  citizenship in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation. In the afternoon, there were panel discussions divided into 10 working and dialogue groups designed to exchange views on the issues that were discussed in these lectures, and then they came back to present the reports of every group in public discussion session.

On the third day of the conference after celebrating Holy Mass according to the Latin rite, the participants listened to two lectures the first one was by Dr. Mirna Mazouq who talked about, “Christian participation in the socio-ecclesiastical space. Laymen, youth, women and the elderly: Believers and Active Citizens.” The second lecture was by Mr. Nadim Jakaman, a representative of “ROACO”  which is an assembly of organizations concerned with aiding the Eastern Churches, on  “The Challenges and Opportunities for Catholic Institutions in the Middle East: Support from the Universal Church”. In the afternoon there were panel discussions, divided into 10 sessions, in which the attendees discussed the main ideas in these lectures, and then came back to present the reports of every group in a plenary discussion session.


Final address

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa delivered the final address during which he  thanked everyone who attended and coordinated this conference, which was organized by the Latin Patriarchate, and patronized by Prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches Archbishop Gugerotti where this is his first meeting with  representatives of the  Eastern Churches. He also named the team that was assisting from Cyprus, especially the Latin Patriarchal Vicar of Cyprus, Fr. Bruno Varriano.

By Munir Baouk | en.abouna.org

2023-04-27T21:18:30+00:00 April 27th, 2023|Categories: News|