Caritas of the Orient in the service of the public good

  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.

Caritas of the Orient in the service of the public good

By Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader

The three-day regional Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Caritas Conference has been held in Beirut with the participation of a large number of cardinals, patriarchs, bishops and heads of Caritas centers which is renowned in the Arab world over the past 50 years or more.

The conference had an impressive title namely, "Serving the Public Good in the Framework of Plurality". This title incorporates the identity of Caritas which is working in the service of everyone, despite the atmosphere of pluralism, or particularly in the atmosphere of pluralism.

From a Jordanian perspective, I had the honor to participate in the conference after having received a special invitation owing to the fact that Caritas serves as a cooperative bridge with media centers as it contributes to conveying a genuine voice and image to everyone and to the world. Among the participants in the conference from Jordan were Caritas Director Wa'el Suleiman, Bishop Joseph Jbara, Mr. Omar Abawi, Mr. Majdi Baqa'in, and Mr. Yazan Majaj. They excelled in elaborating on the establishment of Caritas in Jordan which celebrated its golden Jubilee two years ago. One of the participants in the conference from Lebanon said, "Caritas Jordan is the pearl of the global Caritas," because it preserves authenticity and acts with profound joy and spirituality.

Lebanese President Michele Aoun opened the conference and lauded in his address the importance of Caritas' inter-sectarian and inter-ethnic activities. He said, “Caritas is active in 15 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It provides assistance and services where there is a need regardless of religion, identity and race; thus, it contributes to breaking the barriers of extremism, exclusion and rejection of others who are different.” He added that “Caritas asserts the rich and pluralistic presence, and underlines that the Christian Arab presence is indispensable as it serves as a sign of unity in plurality as well as of the policy of dialogue and openness.” He continued, "Having the Orient void of Christians means that the water has dried, and how can water flow if the springs become dry.”

What is important is that the conference focused on the work of Caritas which is rightly called the arm of the Church in social work. Caritas acts for the common good of all, without exception. Its work is clear, open, and transparent in the MENA region as it takes place in an atmosphere of plurality. Plurality does not only mean the existence of multiple religions, but rather implies communities within the same religion. In churches, the attempts to attain unity are called ecumenical endeavors. It is sometimes not easy to attain it because there are religious leaders who sometimes do not favor unity and cooperation with one other. As for the religious scene, pluralism is also a global characteristic, yet it is an Oriental characteristic par excellence. The Orient is the origin of religions. It is the place where religions emerged and spread throughout the world. However, the recent emergence of satanic groups has complicated relations and endangered atmospheres of tolerance as they sometimes played a religious role and distorted the sublime teachings thus becoming venomous.

But the activities of charities, especially those conducted by Caritas, have made religious boundaries crumble, since good deeds and efforts to alleviate people's suffering cover every person. It suffices to see more than 25 schools run by Caritas Jordan and affiliated with churches. In every school there is an average of 300 Muslim students with an atmosphere that never interfered with faith or feelings either on the part of the teachers or students. I recall Mauritanian Muslim woman named Dikel Fofana who works with Caritas Mauritania. She addressed the international Caritas Conference in Beirut saying: “We work in Caritas (a word which with love) and the one who works in this field will have one's heart purified from impurities.”

abouna.org@gmail.com

Comment through the site Comment through facebook

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.