Lebanon: An MECC meeting designed to help ease suffering in region

Submitted by munir on Fri, 12/02/2022 - 16:27

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan represented by its director Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader took part in the sessions of the Executive Committee of the Catholic Churches (MECC) of the East which convened on November 28-29, 2022  at Notre-Dame du Puits Monastery in Lebanon.


The CCSM has all the time been active and vibrant in taking part in meetings at all levels that would produce tangible and positive results as well as help find solutions to alleviate the suffering experienced at present in the Middle East at all levels.


The MECC Executive Committee meeting issued a series of decisions and recommendations that touch on the suffering prevailing in the region in the hope of ringing the alarm bell that would divert attention to the ailing situations in the Middle East in order to find exigent and practical  solutions that serve as the desired panacea.


Among the highlights of the recommendations adopted is "calling on Christians in the East, especially the youth, who are the light of the world and the salt of this land, to stick to their land and not fall into the trap of temptations to emigration, which makes them lose their identity and makes this East miss a major component of its components and social fabric." This recommendation is quite vital as it acquires great importance because failure to efficaciously handle this issue would leave the region in a mess and radically change the image of the region since the youth are the hope of the future. The conferees also listened with great interest to the concerns and aspirations of the youth and discussed them in depth.


The conferees, furthermore, handled a key issue by stressing the need to move forward in dialogue in order "to seek to unify the date of the Feast of the Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ (commonly known as Easter) which is a pressing demand from the various parishes of churches in the Middle East and which does not negate the spirit of richness in diversity."


This idea was corroborated on the occasion of the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, patron saint of Constantinople, when Pope Francis sent a delegation to Istanbul to convey his greetings and the assurance of his “fraternal affection” to the Ecumenic Patriarch Bartholomew. In his message, Pope Francis noted that these visits are “an expression of the depth of the bonds” uniting the Catholic and Orthodox Church of Constantinople and “a visible sign of their cherished hope for ever deeper communion”, which he says is “an irrevocable commitment for every Christian” as well as “an urgent priority in today’s world”.


In this regard, there are encouraging reports indicate that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox Christians, has confirmed his support for finding a common date to celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ with conversations that have been under way in this regard between Church representatives to come to an agreement, such a common date to be set for the year 2025.


The conferees did not forget the kidnapped and the forcibly disappeared, stating that it is an issue that "still deepens pain and sadness in the hearts of many, coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the kidnapping of Bishops Boulos Al Yazigi and Youhanna Ibrahim."


The conferees also lifted up prayers for the cessation of conflicts, wars, and violence that sap the potential of productive societies and excoriate societies by sending humanity into a tunnel of darkness. The meeting shared the suffering of the Lebanese people and called on the Lebanese officials to take a stand of conscience and to find solutions that end this suffering in all available ways and to expedite the election of a president for the republic who guarantees the sovereignty of Lebanon and the dignity of its people.


The meeting also called for ending the suffering of the Syrian people, bringing peace to all the Syrian territory, as well as securing a dignified and safe return of the displaced to their homeland. It furthermore expressed solidarity with Iraq, and called for the return of the forcibly displaced to their homes and properties.


The meeting concluded with a divine quote from the Holy Bible which fills the hearts and minds with sublime beauty and calm. It presented Lord Jesus' Sermon on the Mount which states, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”. (Matthew 5:14-16)


It is hoped that the world leaders and decision-makers will  consider the recommendations issued by the MECC meeting in Lebanon  and ensure that the light of peace, justice, and  common living would prevail  so that the flames of love would be kept shining and would penetrate the hearts of peace-loving people with a bright light of hope.

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By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org