News & Media

May 5, 2014
The Catholic Family During the Coming Synod of Bishops

On Monday, May 5, 2014, the Pontifical Faculty of Theology at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) organized a conference entitled the “Catholic Family during the Coming Synod of Bishops” which was given by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri (Italy), General Secretary of the Synod for Bishops. A group of bishops, members of the Assistant Generals Council in the Lebanese Maronite Order (LMO), members of the University Council, along with priests, teachers and students were in attendance.

First of all, Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz, President of USEK, welcomed the attendees and inaugurated the conference.

Then, Cardinal Baldisseri started his lecture stating: “The Synod of Bishops is an ecclesial institution established by Pope Paul VI on September 15, 1965. It is a new entity in the Latin Church and it was described by Pope John Paul II as an ‘expression and fruitful means to express the collegiality between bishops’”. He added: “This region witnessed the organization of two Synods especially dedicated for it and they are the Synod for Lebanon (in 1995) and the Synod for the Middle East (in 2010)…”

Cardinal Baldisseri said: “It is necessary to tackle the subject of the family, which is of utmost importance in the Middle East in general, and in Lebanon in particular. We especially have to shed light on the problems resulting from marriage of couples of different religions, migration and the displacement of families or members of families; the subjects of drugs, alcohol and the crisis of moral and family ethics are also important here… The extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod will examine the current urgent issues faced by the family. Indeed, unpublished problems and issues encountered in the past few years have multiplied and they require a high level of attention from the Church.”

He continued: “My presence in Lebanon during this period, ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the Holy Land is crucial in order to witness the ecumenical movement and the joy resulting from brotherhood, which are a testament of the mission of Christians in the Middle East.” 
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