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2012
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Conclusion of the Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Regions (CELRA)

2012/09/20

Fuheis (Jordan), September 20, 2012

The Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Region (CELRA) met from September 17-20, at the House of the Visitation of the Rosary Sisters in Fuheis, Jordan. His Beatitude, Patriarch Fuoad Twal, presided over the meetings.

Many of the topics discussed in these four days of intense work aimed at producing an Instrumentum Laboris for the next Synod of Bishops, which will have as its theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”. The Synod will develop the theme launched by the Holy Father during his recent visit to Lebanon and the content of the Apostolic Exhortation, The Church in the Middle East, signed in Harissa on the 14th of this month of September.

In the Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Benedict XVI invites each one to a continued strengthening the spirit of communion among the Churches and to strengthen dialog between religions as a path to peace and reconciliation. He asked the Christians of the Middle East not to leave their countries despite the difficulties of life, to build their societies on the basis of equal rights and the duties of citizenship.

On Wednesday, September 19th, members of CELRA visited Madaba, to celebrate the Liturgy of the Word with the faithful of that city, in commemoration of the victims of violent revolutions in Arab countries. The program included a visit to the University of Madaba and Mount Nebo.

In their meetings, the bishops discussed the overall situation in the Region, paying particular attention to issues related to the Arab Spring, and focusing on the critical situation in Syria and the reasons that provoked the grave humanitarian crisis, causing refugees to live in unsustainable situations. Many praised the important role played by Jordan (both its King and its Government) on behalf of the refugees, and other neighboring countries, such as Lebanon and Iraq. They called for prayers for peace and reconciliation.

Worthy of note is the appeal for reconciliation and peace in Syria, ecumenical dialogue and coexistence between different religions in all parts of the Middle East. A moment of prayer for peace, together with the faithful of the Madaba community, ended their work session.

CELRA (Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Regions) is an Organization of the Roman Catholic Church that brings together Bishops of the Latin Rite belonging to the Arab States of the Middle East and East Africa.
Established in 1967, by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, its Statutes were ratified in 1989.
Present at this meeting
H.B. Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, President;
H.E. Paul Dahdah, Latin Apostolic Vicar of Beirut, Vice-President;
H.E. Camillo Ballin, Vicar Apostolic of Kuwait;
H.E. Jean Sleiman, Latin Archbishop of Baghdad;
H.E. Giorgio Bertin, Bishop of Djibouti, Apostolic Administrator of Modadiscio;
H.E. Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Arabia;
H.E. Giuseppe Nazzaro OFM, Latin Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo;
H.E. Maroun Lahham, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan;
H.E. Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel;
H.E.William Shomali, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestinian Territory;
H.E. Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, Apostolic Nuncio to Iraq and Jordan;
H.E. Adel Saki, Apostolic Delegate in Alexandria;
Rev. Evencio Herrera Diazofm, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Cyprus;
Rev. Pietro Felet, SCJ, Secretary General.

Photo: Bahaà ALAMAT

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