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Statement issued by the council of Bishops

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  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.