Iraq: Catholic Patriarchs of the East ‘appreciate Jordan’s stability’

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Iraq: Catholic Patriarchs of the East ‘appreciate Jordan’s stability’

Baghdad-en.abouna.org

At the conclusion of the 26th sessions of the Conference of the Catholic Patriarchs of the East which took place last week (November 27-30) for the first time in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, the Catholic Patriarchs of the East highly valued the state of stability prevailing in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. They also expressed appreciation to Jordan's efforts exerted in the service of refugees and of the forcibly displaced, especially those coming from Syria and Iraq.

The Catholic Patriarchs also affirmed their solidarity with the Palestinian people who are still suffering under occupation and who yearn for the emergence of the dawn of salvation and independence. In the face of the stalemate in the peace process, the Patriarchs called on the international community to endorse a Palestinian state within the framework of the two-state solution and the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homeland. They also renewed their firm rejection of the American decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to transfer the US embassy to Jerusalem, and the latest bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people.

Following his participation in the conference, Director of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader said that the meetings took place for the first time in Baghdad with the participation of the seven patriarchs who represent all Catholic Churches under the theme, "The Youth is a Sign of Hope in the Middle East Countries.” He pointed out that each patriarch elaborated on the situation in his respective country with reference to political, economic, and social difficulties in addition to future aspirations.

The participants in the conference, which was held at the Chaldean Patriarchate in Baghdad were namely, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon Louis Raphael Sako, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch Bechara Boutros Rai, Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syriacs for the Syriac Catholic Church Ignatius Joseph III Yonan, Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Youssef Absi, Catholicos-Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenian Catholic Church Patriarch Krikor Bedros XX Ghabroyan, and Bishop William Shomali (representing the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem). Apostolic Nuncio to Jordan and Iraq Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martín took part in the opening session.

Fr. Bader pointed out that the sessions included official meetings with Iraqi President Dr. Barham Salih and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. During these meetings the values of equality among the citizens of nation were affirmed with regards to rights and duties being the bases of citizenship, and that progress would be achieved only with respect to all rights, including civil and religious freedoms for all the citizens. In this context, the patriarchs stressed that the common belief in the One God is a factor that unifies all the citizens--regardless of their religious affiliations--in their endeavor to build the nation and actively work in the direction of attaining the principle of citizenship.

After holding evening prayers with the youth of Baghdad, the patriarchs listened to their experience, enquiries, concerns, and aspirations. CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Bader pointed out that the patriarchs stressed to the youth of the Middle East that they would support them in the current situations prevailing in the region which witness challenges and difficulties as well as with regards to the immigration which threatens their future as well as the Christian presence in the East as a whole. They pointed out that they would do their utmost to create conditions that bolster the steadfastness of the youth and keep them in their country.

Sat, 12/01/2018 - 16:08
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