Nicosia (Agenzia Fides) - "Rooted in hope". A perspective of confidence and hope for the future is the focus of the Symposium organized by the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches which is about to begin in Nicosia. From Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 April, approximately 300 representatives of the Catholic Churches present in the Middle East - Patriarchs, Bishops, community leaders, men and women religious, members of associations and movements - will take part in the liturgies, meetings and round tables of the Conference presided over by Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches, and convened in Cyprus to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente.
That magisterial text is also the fruit of a long process of ecclesial discernment shared by the Apostolic See and the Catholic Churches in the Middle East, which took place around the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops (October 2010). The text of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation was conveniently delivered by Pope Benedict XVI to the Patriarchs, Bishops and all baptized Catholics of the Middle East on September 16, 2012, on the occasion of his Apostolic Journey to Lebanon.
The upheavals that have marked the Middle East over the past decade have left their mark on indigenous Christian communities and the societies in which they are immersed. The Nicosia Symposium offers the opportunity to examine the path taken by the Catholic Churches in the Middle East in the last 10 years and to take stock of their current condition, with a focus on the prospects for the future.
With a confidence that can only be anchored in the hearts of men through the theological virtue of hope, a gift from God.
During the opening session, after the introductory speeches by Archbishop Gugerotti and Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, Apostolic Nuncio to Cyprus and Jordan, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, will give the opening speech, placing the work of the symposium in the context of the tenth anniversary of the publication of "Ecclesia in Medio Oriente". In the following days, the works will be marked by several important reports entrusted to the Palestinian theologian Viola Raheb, the Lebanese professor Mirna Mzawaq, Bishop Paolo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of South Arabia and Dr. Nadim Ammann, member of the Reunion of Aid Agencies to the Oriental Churches (R.O.A.C.O.). (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 18/4/2023)