25 June 2019 – The Greek-Melkite Catholic Church is preparing to dedicate ample space to its pastoral planning to the dissemination and deepening of the Document on Human Brotherhood for World Peace and Common Coexistence, signed on 4 February in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed al Tayyeb, Great Imam of Al Azhar.

This was established by the synodal assembly of Greek-Melkite Bishops, who met last week at the patriarchal see of Ain Traz, in Lebanon, under the presidency of Patriarch Youssef Absi. The declared intention is to foster the growth of new generations able to reconstruct the coexistence between different social and religious components in the countries where the Melkite Church is present, often distorted by conflicts and sectarian extremism. The program outlined by the Melkite Bishops – as reported by the report of the Synodal Assembly, sent to Agenzia Fides – is laid down in concrete provisions, which involve both academic and more specifically pastoral activities. The Document on Human Brotherhood will become the object of study in the schools of the Patriarchate and in theological institutes. The text will be disseminated widely among the lay faithful, and its contents will be deepened in diocesan and parish meetings, as well as becoming the subject of articles and interviews on the media of the Patriarchate and on the bulletins of the dioceses and parishes. Even priests will be urged to make known the contents and intents of the Abu Dhabi document through their ordinary preaching.

During the Synodal Assembly, the Bishops present (who were 24, besides the Patriarch) also outlined the steps to be taken to implement the measures related to the protection of minors from the abuses set forth in the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis Vos estis lux mundi (7 May 2019). Furthermore, the process was also started to establish a preparatory committee that will take care of the participation and contribution of the Melkite Church to the future World Congress dedicated to the liturgical life in the Eastern Catholic Churches, scheduled in Rome from 18 to 20 February 2022, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the instruction for the application of the liturgical prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, published by the Congregation for Oriental Churches in January 1996. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2019)