CCEE-CEC Joint Committee

Declaration on the Situation in the Middle East

The meeting of the CCEE-CEC Joint Committee took place from 5 to 7 November in Belgrade.  The delegation from the Conference of European Churches (CEC) with its President H. Em. Nikitas, Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, and that of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) with its President H.E. Msgr. Gintaras Grušas, Archbishop of Vilnius, were welcomed by the Archbishop of Belgrade, H.E. Msgr. Ladislav Nemet, CCEE Vice President.

Among the items on the agenda were the presentation of the work of the 16th Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops given by Card. Jean-Claude Hollerich, General Rapporteur of the Synod; the report of the Working Group for the Update of the European Charta Oecumenica, provided by Ms. Lea Schlenker of the Protestant Church in Germany, and His Eminence Card. Grzegorz Ryś, Archbishop of Łódź; a reflection on the situation in Europe: “The war against Ukraine”, provided by Rev. Rostyslav Vorobii, from the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and “The current position of migrants and refugees: from the Balkans to Palestine”, by Fr. Stanko Perica SJ, suit Refugee Service Regional Director for South-East Europe.

The work concluded with a Declaration by the CCEE-CEC Joint Committee on the situation in the Middle East:

“We stand in solidarity with those in Israel and in Palestine who work to promote peace and we affirm that violence cannot be a way to defend a cause.”

“We demand the entire international community to mobilise and uphold the international law, in particular the UN resolutions, with the aim of opening serious negotiations to create a lasting peace, in truth and justice.”

“We invite the faithful of our Churches to pray for all those who are suffering, and we invoke God’s mercy for all, remembering that we are all members of the one common humanity. We also pray and hope that those in authority over nations engage in a genuine dialogue that will uphold the human dignity of all and make a peaceful coexistence of the two peoples in two states possible”.

Attached, please find the full text of the Declaration.