Monday, 13 October 2014


Statement of the Conference of Latin Bishops of the Arab Regions (CELRA)
RAS EL KHAIMEH (EAU) – from September 30 to October 4, 2014, Bishops from the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Djibouti and Somalia had their annual meeting. Below is the communiqué they release at the end of the meeting.
 The Themes proposed in this meeting:

1)      Peace and Reconciliation
2)      Migration
3)      Family
1. We, the Bishops, share in the sufferings of our people in Gaza, Syria and Iraq who endured massive and extensive destruction, deaths and injuries in large numbers; and of those in Yemen and Somalia, where great political instability continues to prevail.  The information about the situation in these areas of conflict is horrible.
Therefore, we reiterate that:
–   There is no peace without justice and no justice without respect for the human rights, social and religious, and the dignity every person; there is no peace without forgiveness and reconciliation.  The Church prays and works that reconciliation may become a reality in the Middle East. Without true reconciliation based on justice and mutual forgiveness, there will be no peace.
–   Violence in the name of religion cannot be used against anyone because every human person has a right to be respected regardless of religious affiliation, ethnic or minority status. At this point, we wish to acknowledge the role of Churches and its agencies in the distribution of humanitarian aid no matter what religion the people belong to, as well as the heroism of many Muslims in condemning religious radicalism and defending persecuted minorities at the risk of their own life.
2. For a life with dignity, millions of migrants work in many countries. Majority of the workers give a testimony of peace and tolerance and expect reciprocity and respect for their human dignity and their social rights, more particularly the women. And so everyone has the responsibility to respect the other with one’s culture and tradition.
3. The crisis in married life and family is on increase due to individualization in the society; the Catholic Church invites us to build the domestic church by convoking the synod on family. Let us build the Body of Christ by building our families. 
 We look forward to many fruits from the upcoming Synod and we invite our faithful to pray for Pope Francis and the Synod Fathers, that the Lord may enlighten them to give responses appropriate to the challenges and risks that confront the institution of the family.

The Bishops of CELRA
Ras El Khaimah
October 4, 2014, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

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