Synod conference in Syria

2022-03-18

Church , House of Charity – Synodality and Coordination :      

The Council of Catholic Patriarchs and Bishops in Syria, with the cooperation of the Papal Embassy in Syria, organized a convention on March 15, 16 & 17, 2022 at Ebla Hotel - Conference Palace in Damascus,  in the presence of the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Youssef Al-Absi  The Syriac Patriarch of Antioch Youssef III Younan, the Patriarch of Iraq for the Chaldeans Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, His Holiness the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Aphrem II, the Papal Ambassador to Syria Cardinal Mario Zenari and the Dean of the Congregation for Eastern Churches in Rome Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.

 17 dioceses of the Catholic Church in Syria, Bishops and laymen participated in the conference, 36 religious orders in Syria, 23 Catholic societies and charitable societies, including ’ROACO’ Association, 4 Catholic hospitals in Syria, the Catholic organizations, the United Nations organizations and the European Union, attended the convention

Caritas Syria participated and coordinated in the synodal convention, and also Caritas Luxembourg, Austria, Italy, America, Switzerland, Germany, Caritas International, were represented by its representative, Caritas Lebanon Association, represented by its president, Father Michel Abboud, Mr. Gilbert Zwain, the treasurer Mr. Nadim Nader, and the media coordinator Maguy Makhlouf.

 His Holiness Pope Francis addressed a message to the conferees at the opening of the conference, delivered by Bishop Antoine Audo, Secretary of the Conference, … we are all members of the body of Christ, which is the Church….. Although we are members of different churches and traditions, we have the same vocation……. To bear witness to the Lord Jesus through proclaiming the Gospel and love and walking together in a spirit of communion and respect for diversity..... I take this opportunity to address the various representatives of associations and NGOs active in Syria….Your initiatives are a tangible sign of the Church’s love that is nourished by the Gospel  .....

 The Catholic Patriarchs of the East’s, focused in their interventions on how to express God’s love for all people, especially to the Syrian, through the Church’s social and humanitarian work, and financial initiative.

 Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Dean of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in Rome, spoke of the dream of a synodal procession for the Catholic Church in Syria, with the participation of the consecrated and the laity.

 As for the papal ambassador to Syria, Cardinal Zenari, he stressed in the invitation to walk together to carry in us a compassionate heart in solidarity with the sufferings of others....

 Over three days, each of the seventeen dioceses bishops, representatives of associations, organizations and missions, discussed the Church’s social and humanitarian work since the outbreak of the war in Syria, the challenges in facing the catastrophic development of the economic situation in the country, the emigration of Christians, especially young people, which is increasing day by day, and how cooperation and coordination is among them.

 The conference included lectures, dialogue sessions, testimonies, participations and discussions on humanitarian work in Syrian official organizations, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the church.

 At the conclusion of the third day, a series of recommendations were declared:

-           Work on upbringing and preparing cadres

-           Focusing on development and educational projects, such as, health, education, food, housing, orphans              and widows, the elderly and people with limited income.

-           Promote the dignity and freedom of the human person.

-           Focus on Syrian youth and their stay in their country.

At the conclusion of the third day, a series recommendations were issued: 

-          Establishing committees within the homeland.

-           Promoting participatory and citizenship to walk along together.

-           Regularly meetings

-          Continuous coordination between national charitable associations and committees, official and                    organizations, and international organizations.