The APECL’s 54th ordinary session was held in Bkerké from 8 to 13 November. The prelates renewed their support for the "national initiative" promoted by Card Al-Rahi on neutrality and the UN conference. A "dialogue of love and truth" among Lebanese is needed. For Caritas Lebanon president, “it is difficult to distinguish who is in need from who is poor”.
Beirut (AsiaNews) – The Assembly of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops of Lebanon (APECL) has recently issued an appeal calling for the “purification of the nation’s memory” and a "critical reading" of the path undertaken "by all the political components" of the country.
In their statement, the prelates mention the spirit and letter of the 1997 Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II and the recommendations made by Pope Francis in his letter to the Lebanese (24 December 2020) as well as on the Day of Prayer and Reflection held in the Vatican (1 July 2021) in the presence of the Eastern patriarchs.
These requests are at the heart of the final communiqué released after the 54th ordinary session, held in Bkerké from 8 to 13 November 2021.
During its work, the assembly renewed its plan for joining the "national initiative" of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rahi, who has called for "the proclamation of Lebanon’s neutrality” and "the holding of an international conference under the auspices of the Nations United.”
The goal is to put into practice a number of UN Security Council resolutions that concern the country, as well as complete the implementation of the Taif Agreement, while finding a solution to the problem of refugees and displaced persons.
In order to consolidate the deep social bond that unites the Lebanese, the prelates urged their compatriots to "establish a dialogue of love, truth, openness, forgiveness and uncompromising reconciliation among themselves.”
“This dialogue is now more necessary than ever, if not urgent, and presupposes the process of purifying the memory of all the Lebanese parties, each of which is called to deeply examine their conscience [...] and critically read their own political path.”
To underline its importance, APECL chose to consecrate the next session (7-12 November 2022) to re-examine the 1997 Apostolic Exhortation.
In the area of education, the Assembly reaffirmed its intention to remain faithful to its vocation and to work to ensure “an inclusive education without any religious, confessional, class or social discrimination" and to “meet the cultural, spiritual and moral needs of future generations ".
With respect to social issues, the prelates listened carefully to a report by Fr Michel Abboud, president of Caritas Lebanon, who said that “it is now difficult to distinguish those in need from those who are poor” in Lebanon.
Finally, the Assembly of the Patriarchs and Catholic Bishops of Lebanon followed the explanations by Fr Khalil Alwan, the general secretary, about the preparatory stages of the Synod of Bishops to be held in Rome in October 2023 titled Towards a synodal Church.