LEBANON – From February 8th to 12th, 2023, His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, attended the 72nd Plenary Assembly of the Conference of Latin Bishops in the Arab Regions (CELRA), which was held in Beirut, in the Notre dame du Mont.
Once a year, the Latin Bishops in the Arab Regions meet to pray, and devote a time for discussion and fraternal collaboration. This year’s conference was attended by the Latin bishops of Somali, Djibouti, Egypt, Lebanon, Emirates, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, Cyprus, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Unfortunately, the Latin bishop of Syria was not present, due to the emergency of the earthquake.
During the conference, the Bishops gave an overview of the Church’s situation in each country; They focused mainly on the Catechesis, the formation of the faith, as well as the Synodal process. Also, they spent a fruitful time listening to one another’s experiences, and highlighted conflicts and problems faced by specific countries of the region. To note, a specific criterion for the publication of the liturgical books was approved during the meeting.
The delegates of all the Arab regions attended the last day of the conference to present the Continental Phase of the Synod, which will take place in Lebanon immediately after the CELRA meeting. The delegate of Emirate, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon presented their clauses. In this session of the conference the Apostolic Nuncio, Msgr. Paolo Borgia, talked about the difficult political and social situation currently faced by Lebanon.
Not to mention, the Maronite Patriarch, Card. Butros Rai, hosted all the Bishops, and presented them with an overview of the ecclesial life in Lebanon.
The conference ended with a public Mass, celebrated at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, of the Lazarist fathers, during which they prayed together for the victims of the earthquake.