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“CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE EAST: ROOTED IN HOPE.” Nicosia, April 20–23, 2023

Upon the invitation of the Dicastery of the Eastern Churches, delegations representing the six Catholic Eastern Churches and the Latin Church, gathered in Nicosia in the Symposium: “CHURCH IN THE MIDDLE EAST: ROOTED IN HOPE.”
The seven catholic patriarchs participated presiding their delegations coming from Egypt, the Holy Land, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, the Gulf countries, Lebanon and Cyprus, with a delegation from the Holy See presided by the prefect of the Dicastery of the Eastern Churches, H.E. Mgr. Claudio Gugerotti.
The aim of the symposium was to revisit the apostolic exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente” and the recent challenges, 10 years after it appeared followed by very dramatic events in the area.
Three major subjects were constantly present in most of the discussions: the christian education, the communion and the mission.
Five lectures were presented in the symposium.
1- H.E. Mgr. Paolo Martinelli spoke about the importance of Christian education, insisting on the role of the family, the school and the catechism.
2- Dr. Youssef Kamal El Hajj spoke about “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” (signed in Abu Dhabi on Feb 4, 2019 by H.H. Pope Francis and The Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Cheikh Ahmed Al Tayyib) and the interreligious dialogue, insisting on patience all along the dialogue process.
3- Dr. Viola Raheb spoke about “Freedom and Rights, between affirmations, aspirations and practice.” In the geopolitical and sociopolitical context of the dramatic changes in the last 10 years.
4- Dr Mirna Mzawwaq spoke about « The Christian commitment from a socio-religious perspective.” Insisting on the role of the youth, women and old people in being Christians and citizens.
5- Dr Nadim Ammann spoke about “The challenges and opportunities for the catholic institutions in the Middle East.” Mentioning the major role of the catholic institutions and insisting on the fact that the church cannot substitute the government, without forgetting the importance of the young generation role in building the nation.
On Sunday, H.E. Mgr. Gugerotti gave the closing speech of the symposium saying that he was impressed by the vitality of the Eastern Churches, who want to stay active, alive, and free, and want to witness Christ. Mgr. Gugerotti said that H.H. Pope Francis and the Vatican support the Eastern Church message and mission.

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