Council of Bishops and representatives of the Eastern Apostolic churches in Australia and New Zealand held their regular meeting April 27, 2017 at Parish of St. John the beloved of the Melkite Catholics in Green Eaker (New South Wales) hosted by the Presidency of His Eminence Archbishop Robert Rebate, pastor of the Melkite Catholics in Australia and New Zealand High respect.
The meeting included a report submitted by His Eminence Bishop Mlatius Malki Malki, Bishop of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Australia and New Zealand, the role of the Eastern Christian Welfare Australia (ECWA) supervised by him together with Monsignor Basil Sosanah a representative of the Armenian Catholic Church in cooperation and coordination with the Council in the care and reception and help the Syrians and Iraqi new arrival families and other fugitives from the scourge of war and terrorism hanging over the Levant and try to find homes and jobs for them on a different Australian territory.
In another context, the Bishops and representatives discussed and approved the content of the official visit, which they plan to carry out a delegation of members of the Council to Egypt under the title: “solidarity with the brotherly Egyptian people and support a message of co-existence between the people of one nation,” which will take place between following 30 of May and 3rd of June, this include an official visits to the leaders of spiritual and civil in the country. They thanked God for the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Egyptian territory (28 to 29 April 2017) which culminated in a historic agreement between the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches around the sacrament of baptism, where the parties declared in the Convention mentioned item 11 above, the following:
” Today we, Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, in order to rejoice the heart of our Lord Jesus, as well as the hearts of our sons and daughters in the faith, we declare, and mutually, we strive, in good conscience, about not re – sacrament of baptism, which was granted in each of our Churches anyone who wants to join the other church. We recognize this obedience to the Bible and the faith of the three Ecumenical Councils held in Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus. “
On the other hand, the sovereignty of Australia, pastor of the Maronite Bishop Antoine-Charbel Tarabay present the visit by His Eminence Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Dean of the Congregation for Eastern Churches to Australia between 6 and 15 May 2017, the occasion of the 100 anniversary of the establishment of the above complex program. And will meet with the heads of the Eastern Churches, priests and faithful and see the conditions of the refugees coming from Syria and Iraq and the region families.
On the other hand the Council sanctified pastors Shenouda Mansour from the Coptic Orthodox Church and Father Eli Nakhoul of the Maronite and media official in the Council of the Church assigned to meet the delegates responsible for the Public Prosecutor in the Government of New South Wales to listen them and convey them later observations and positions of the Council in respect of laws for the protection of the freedom of some groups who feel persecuted in the Australian community (Vilification law), such as homosexuals and people living with HIV and others. The aim of this meeting was to seek to maintain the current laws that safeguard the freedom of belief, expression and dissemination of the teachings and principles of the divine religions in order to avoid future confrontation, non-constructive with those who consider them oppressed by these religions, they differ in opinion with these groups on a number of moral and ethical principles.
From here the Council matters to explain to all that the Church respects the tendencies and options for every human being, but will not give up days on duty missionary and educational openly the truth which it believes and received by the Secretariat of the teacher and the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, a way of life and the salvation of every human being.
At the end of the meeting of Bishop Robert called on everyone to participate to lunch which was attended by table which nearly two hundred and fifty women, they came from various Eastern Churches on the occasion of the launch of Mother’s Day celebrations in Australia. This food systems organized by Committee of Hamilat Alteeb in the parish of St. John the Melkite Catholic. And seize appropriate to guide the sincere appreciation and greeting phrases to all mother’s in their day.