Nicosia (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Latin Bishops of the Middle East thank Pope Francis for having proclaimed the Holy Year of Mercy that will help to "preach mercy to the whole world", and in particular prepare to rediscover "the beauty of the sacrament of reconciliation and the practice of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy" in their pastoral work.
This is a the commitment reaffirmed in the final communique of the Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Regions (CELRA), who held their annual meeting in Cyprus, at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nicosia from July 6 to 9. During the meetings, the Bishops discussed the pastoral situations in their countries and the four issues that were on the agenda: consecrated life, the future of the Christian community in the Middle East, the family and the Jubilee of Mercy.
"More than a year has passed since the Gaza war and the fall of Mosul, and five months have passed since the Arab coalition declared war in Yemen", said the statement, sent to Agenzia Fides, "but there is no sign or glimmer of hope. Despite the desperate situation of our communities in Syria and Iraq, we insist on the fact that our future depends on the strength of our faith. Also – say the Bishops of the Arab regions - we are confident that interreligious dialogue can help to improve coexistence with our Muslim brothers, because there are many people of good will who reject radicalism and intolerance and respect the freedom of conscience and religious pluralism".
The Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Regions gathers the Bishops of the Latin rite in the Arabian Peninsula and in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Djibouti and Somalia. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 10/07/2015)