07/08/2005, 00.00
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Greek-Orthodox Synod: "Joy for the renewed ecumenical dialogue"

by Jihad Issa
At the end of their synod, the bishops release a statement in which they "urge everyone to cooperate in the renewal of ecumenism" and express "hope in the democratic rebirth of Lebanon".

Damascus (AsiaNews) – The Greek-Orthodox Synod of Antioch "welcomes with joy and favour the renewed ecumenical dialogue with the Catholic Church and expresses its confidence to that effect, urging everyone to offer the necessary collaboration".

This is the gist of the press release published on Thursday, July 7, in which the participants to the annual Greek-Orthodox synod that ended after three days of deliberations "greeted Pope Benedict XVI in a spirit of respect and faith".

The statement also carried a strong appeal to all "that they may quietly participate in the work of the joint commission to continue on the path towards full [Christian] unity so much desired by Our Lord Jesus Christ."

During the synod (the 38th) that saw the participation of 19 bishops under the chairmanship of Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, a report prepared by Mgr Elias Awde, Metropolitan of Beirut, was read.

Bishop Awde had taken part in the pan-Orthodox synod that "excommunicated Ireneos I, Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem".

In his report, the prelate explained the measures taken and their import, including their religious significance.

The bishops also expressed "hope in the democratic rebirth of Lebanon" and "a desire to see a quick transition from the current anomalous situation towards the re-establishment of a true democracy".

On this issue, the prelate launched "a strong appeal to those in power so that they may fully assume their responsibilities in a spirit of honesty and probity because the renaissance of the Arab world has to be done by Arabs in cooperation with friendly countries".

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