News & Media

November 15 & 16, 2013
Faith, From Confession to Life

On November 15 - 16, 2013, the Pontifical Faculty of Theology at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik organized a colloquium entitled, “Faith, From Confession to Life”, which was attended by the Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Al Rai, the Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon, Monsignor Gabriel Catcha, the representative of the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East for Greek Orthodox, John X Yazigi, Monsignor Constantine Kayal, the representative of the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Gregoire III Laham, Monsignor Elias Rahhal, the representative of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch, Nerses Bedros IX, Father Vartan Kiracos, and the Superior General of the Lebanese Maronite Order, Abbot Tannous Nehme, as well as the President of the University, Father Hady Mahfouz. Bishops and religious representatives were also in attendence.

Rev. Fr. Antoine Al Ahmar, Dean of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology, initiated the conference by saying, "The board of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology doesn’t want the discussion during the conference to be limited to theoretical reasoning; rather it should be a celebration of confession of faith and a renewal of our commitment to the practice of faith.” He added: "This conference is part of the request of Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the Year of Faith." Father Ahmar thanked those, who had organized the conference, for their efforts.

The President of the University, Father Hady Mahfouz started his speech with a verse from the Book of Isaiah, saying, "We are here today to discuss the topic of faith, as part of the cloturation of the year of faith. We are honored by the presence of His Beatitude Cardinal Bechara Boutros Al Rai among us." Father Mahfouz thanked Fr. Antoine Al Ahmar and the team who had organized the conference, ensuring that USEK could be proud of the role of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in spreading the message of the Church and the University. "

Patriarch Al Rai stated, "The subject of this colloquium summarizes all the Catechism of the Catholic Church, based on the declaration of faith, the life given to us by the grace of the sacraments, and upon conducting a new life with integrity and freedom according to the commandments of God." The Patriarch also insisted on the link between faith and life, maturity in faith and dialogue between faith and culture within civic life.

Moreover, the Patriarch continued "The church invites Christians to participate in the political life, so they can put their faith into practice and rely on the words and values of the Gospel in each political work. It is to be noted that their faith and culture oblige them to perform this work without being influenced by personal and financial interests and to work for reconciliation, unity and solidarity.

The other three sessions took place over two days. The first session, presided over by Father Gabriel Hashem, addressed the issue of faith and its ensuing problems. The second session, presided over by Father Elias Azzi, addressed the issue of the expression of faith. An ecumenical approach to faith in the Orthodox tradition, was presented at the third session, as well as topics of justification by faith in the reform churches and issues of radical faith within Muslim Sufism.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
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