October 3, 2014
Abu Dhabi, 3 October 2014. The Annual Plenary Assembly of the Latin Bishops' Conference of the Middle East took place at St. Anthony of Padua Pastoral Centre, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates from 29 September to 3 October 2014.The bishops present serve in the Arabian Peninsula, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Cyprus, Djibouti and Somalia.
The themes of Peace and Reconciliation, Migration and the Family were among the heart of the topics that were discussed at the Conference. Following the Conference, a short Communique was released which summarised the declaration of the conference on the topics under discussion.
On the topic of peace and reconciliation, the Bishops expressed their shock over the wars in Gaza, Syria and Iraq, the political instability in Yemen and Somalia with the suffering of the innocents. The Bishops asserted the need to arrive at a peaceful solution by seeking justice, respect for rights of the affected peoples and the need for pardon and reconciliaiton. The Bishops firmly opposed the use of violence in the name of religion and also stated the right of the opressed to their self-defence with the cooperation of the international community.
On the topic of migration, the Bishops greeted the migrants in their respective countries and also expressed their thanks to the governments for their efforts to recognise their freedom to worship. The Bishops also iterated the need for a fair wage for the workers in return for their services and exhorted migrant workers to work having national welfare at heart.
On the topic of the family, the Bishops discussed the different challenges facing family life especially in the context of affecting migrants and refugees. The Bishops expressed their hope that this Synod would provide answers to the challenges that the institution of the family faces in the modern world.
The full communique is available in English, French and Arabic.