Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Tuesday, 17 May 2022
The Middle East Council of Churches launches its 12th General Assembly in Wadi El Natrun, Egypt :

The Middle East Council of Churches launches its 12th General Assembly, on Monday, May 16, 2022, under the title of “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27) at the Logos Papal Center in Wadi El Natrun, Egypt, with the generous hospitality of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, and with the support of the Evangelical Church in Egypt. The Assembly is attended by representatives of 21 Churches from the Middle East. They all stressed on the importance of renewal and attachment to hope and to our faith in Jesus Christ, because with His presence we are neither afraid or discouraged. As well as, they stressed on the need to cling to our East and Land, the Cradle of Christianity.


The first day began with an opening prayer with the Eastern Orthodox family at the Transfiguration Church of the Papal Logos Center. Then, the participants went to the Holy Synod Hall accompanied with Coptic Orthodox Hymns, and the General Assembly started with an opening speech delivered by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.


Following His Holiness’ speech, the MECC Secretary General Dr. Michel Abs, offered a souvenir gift to thank His Holiness on behalf of the Middle East Council of Churches. The gift was carved from the stone of Lebanon, symbolizing the hands of the Pope, the hand of giving, the hand of God carrying the Coptic Cross between olive branches, in addition to the flame of the Holy Light.


The General Assembly will last until Friday, May 20, 2022, and is attended by the MECC Presidents who are H.H. Mor Ignatius Aphram II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church and MECC President for the Eastern Orthodox family, H.B. Patriarch John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and MECC President for the Orthodox family, H.B. Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Chaldean Patriarch in Iraq and the World and MECC President for the Catholic family, R. Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, President of the National Evangelical Union in Lebanon and MECC President for the Evangelical Church.


This Ecumenical event was also attended by the Heads of the Middle Eastern Churches and are H.H. Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Cilicia, H.B. Patriarch Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa for the Greek Orthodox Church, H.B. Patriarch Youssef Absi, Patriarch of Antioch and All The East, Alexandria and Jerusalem of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Rev. Dr. Andrea Zaki, President of the Evangelical Churches in Egypt, H.B. Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syriac Catholic Church, H.B. Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak, Patriarch of the Coptic Catholic Church, H.B. Patriarch Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian, Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church of Cilicia, Rev. Dr. Paul Haidostian, President of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East, H.B. Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Rev. Joseph Kassab, General Secretary of the Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon and President of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Synod in Syria and Lebanon, H.E. Archbishop Dr. Sami Fawzy Shehata, Archbishop of the Episcopal Province of Alexandria, Diocesan Bishop of Egypt, H.E. Archbishop Sani Ibrahim Charlie Azar, Head of the Lutheran Evangelical Church in Jordan and The Holy Land.


Participants were also Bishops heading their Churches’ delegations, members of the MECC Executive Committee, guests, experts and MECC partners from all over the world. As well as, the MECC Secretary General Dr. Michel Abs headed the MECC Associate Secretaries General and the team of the Council’s General Secretariat.


Afterwards, the MECC Presidents delivered their speeches and denounced all the conflicts, wars and crises that the Eastern people are witnessing.


The opening ceremony of this Ecumenical event also included speeches of many the Eastern Patriarchs, heads of delegations of the Middle Eastern Churches and representing all the Churches’ families. This is in addition to videos greetings from MECC international partners. The General Assembly concluded its first day with a closing prayer with the Eastern Orthodox family presided over by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II.