The Executive Committee of the Middle East Council of Churches held an online meeting on Thursday 25 February, 2021 instead of attending in person, respecting the preventive measures to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. All the committee members from Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Cyprus and Lebanon participated.
The meeting was attended by His Beatitude Patriarch John X, President of the Council for the Greek Orthodox Family who presided the opening session, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II President of the Council for the Eastern Orthodox Family, HE Revd. Habib Badr President of the Council on behalf of the Evangelical family who presided the second session and Bishop Paul Sayah who presided the closing session, representing His Beatitude Patriarch Cardinal Mor Louis Raphael Sako President of the Council on behalf of the Catholic family. Cardinal Sako was absent due to his preoccupation with the preparations for the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Iraq. Members of the Executive Committee, the General Secretariat's team and a group invited by Secretary General Dr. Michel E. Abs also participated in the meeting.
When the quorum was completed, the committee’s members approved the agenda and minutes of the previous session, which was held in Bkerke - Lebanon on September 18, 2020.
The meeting then started and Secretary General Dr. Michel Abs presented the council’s current projects and its departments’ achievements. He introduced his future work plan previously elaborated during discussions with MECC partners who gave their comments. Then, the Council Financial Director presented the annual financial report for the year 2020.
During the meeting, Holy Father Nicolas Bestros was appointed as Associate General Secretary for the Catholic family following the unanimous approval of the committee. Noting that Father Bestros is the President of the Saint Paul Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Harissa, Lebanon.
Finally, the attendees recommended the necessity of strengthening the role of the Middle Eastern Churches in raising awareness on facing the Coronavirus outbreak and contributing in the preparation of campaigns to encourage people to take the Covid-19 vaccines in order to immunize them from the deadly infection and achieve the herd immunity.