The Holy Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church has, as foreseen, ended its work on 8 February, 2012. The final communiqué published this morning announces that the Synod Fathers have chosen candidates suitable for consecration as bishops, in line with the number of eparchies declared vacant and the titular sees whose holders have reached the canonical retirement age. The list of names will be sent to the Holy See for approval.
The Holy Synod considered the situation prevalent in the countries of the patriarchal territories – in particular, Syria and Egypt. The Fathers launched an appeal to the conscience of these countries’ governments and their opponents to stop the bloodbath and for all parties to consent to resort to dialogue under the aegis of the international community and Arab countries. This dialogue should end in lasting peace built on justice, democracy and freedom.
The Fathers welcomed the open-mindedness that was evident during the Muslim-Christian summit of 7 February in Beirut in which H. B. Patriarch Gregorios III took part. They also asked the Lebanese government to look after the people’s needs, while hoping that all members of the government would grasp the need to rise above personal ambitions and interests.
Finally, the Holy Synod lent its support to the documents published in January by Al-Azhar on freedom of religion and conscience.
The next Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church will be held starting on 18 June 2012 at the patriarchal summer residence of Aïn-Traz (Lebanon.)