Their appeal was reflected in a statement issued at the end of their synod, held for the first time in Syria. The June 17-27 gathering brought together 30 of the 37 Melkite bishops and four general superiors of religious, under the presidency of His Beatitude Gregory III Laham, patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites.
The synod fathers stated that they are ready to “make our Church a platform to help Arab leaders to act in the framework of justice, peace and development.”
Likewise, the bishops offered to “help the Western world to understand Islam and Muslim-Christian relations,” Vatican Radio reported.
The Greek-Melkite Church has 1.5 million faithful in the Middle East and in the diaspora. The focus of the synod was the formation of parish priests.
The bishops also examined plans for the next patriarchal conclave scheduled for 2006.