After two weeks of speeches, discussion, study and prayer, the Synod of Bishops on the Middle East
came to a close. The last order of business was to had over to the Holy Father a list of recommendations regarding the current situation of the Churches in the Middle East.
It's a long list of propositions. Some might say they're not concrete enough, others might be surprised by the straightforwardness of some propositions. What is actually important is that the Bishops will now go home with these propositions and ideas burned in their minds and their hearts - and Holy Father is left with the propositions to assess as he begins to put together his exhortation about the Middle East.
The propositions are too numerous to list here. Go to the Vatican website
for the full list of the Synod Fathers' propositions.
Some of the more notable suggestions:
- instituting catechetical centres in the Middle East to strengthen the formation of the laity;
- encouraging churches and those who have emigrated to keep their land and property in the Middle East;
- study how to coordinate the dates of Christmas and Easter so that all Christians celebrate these feasts at the same time;
- adopting one standardized Arabic translation of the Our Father;
- studying the possibility of making a Patriarch's jurisdiction personal instead of territorial;
- calling on the international community to find a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
- establishing a commission to find the best way to serve Christians in the Gulf States