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DEAD SEA – The 6th Annual Canon Law Conference for bishops, judges, lawyers and pastors was held from July 17-23 near the Dead Sea, Jordan.

The Sixth Annual Canonical Conference entitled “Matrimonial consent and defects in marriage, its provisions and the canonical procedures by the Apostolic Letter – Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” was held this year from July 17-23, in the Mövenpick Hotel, near the Dead Sea. First launched in 2012, these annual conferences are aimed at training clergy and laity, who serve the Ecclesiastical Court of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Amman, on the fundamental questions of canon law and in particular this year on the specific topic of matrimonial consent in marriage.

This year, the conference was a success, in addition to the presence of participants from the Latin Patriarchate, there were priests and bishops from various parts of the Near and Middle East such as Syria, Egypt, Lebanon Armenia and Iraq. Addressing the participants, Italian Lawyers of the Lateran University of Rome – Fr. Manuel Arroba Conde, Fr. Antonio Pr. Christian Begus – presented formal discourses.

The purpose of such conferences is to give the faithful – bishops, priests and laity – better training and expertise on issues of great complexity which often cause distress among the faithful as can be the case when a failed marriage. At the complexity of the issues, add a relatively insufficient training of clergy and the lack of sustainable institutions. Hence the need to develop such training, the achievement and success are only made possible by the generosity of donors.

During the conference, the emphasis was placed on the study of the Motu Proprio “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” issued by Pope Francis, December 8, 2015, which simplifies the existing canonical procedure concerning requests for the nullity of marriage.

This conference ended with a Mass celebrated by the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, with concelebrants Bishop William Shomali, Apostolic Vicar for Jordan, and the many priests who attended the conference throughout the week. After the celebration, Archbishop Pizzaballa presented each participant with a certificate.

Remy Brun

Photos: Osama Toubasi

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