Cairo (Agenzia Fides) - The delegated members of the Association of Faculties and Institutes of Theology of the Middle East, gathered in assembly on May 22 and 23 in Egypt, at the Coptic Catholic Seminary in the Cairo district of Maadi, concluded their work by electing the new leaders of the body. For the next term, the Association will be chaired by the Lebanese Greek Orthodox Archimandrite Yaqoub Khalil, while the role of Executive Secretary will be held by Maronite priest Mikhael Kanbar. The General Assembly also approved the new internal regulations to intensify common ecumenical work in the fields of theological formation, mission and fraternal solidarity. The Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak took part in the Assembly's work, along with some theology professors who also hold courses at the Coptic Catholic Seminary. The meeting took place at the end of the 12th General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), held from May, 16 to 20 in a conference room annexed to the Anba Bishoy Monastery, in the Wadi desert region. Natrun (see Fides 16 and 20/5/2022).
The Association of Theological Institutes in the Middle East (ATIME) is a liaison body that brings together 18 academic institutions of theological studies scattered across Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, and linked to several Middle Eastern Churches and Christian communities. After a decade of substantial suspension of activities, the association was relaunched in 2019 to respond to the need to share theological reflection in the context of the relationships of communion between the various ecclesial communities, trying to read together the "signs of the times" with which the Christian presence is called to deal with in the troubled Middle Eastern scenarios. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 24/5/2022)