HIS HOLINESS ARAM I PRESIDES OVER A MEETING OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE MIDDLE EAST COUNCIL OF CHURCHES (MECC)

On, 21 August 2012, His Holiness Aram I, one of the Presidents of the MECC, moderated an emergency meeting of the Council. The other Presidents attending the meeting were: Syriac Catholic Patriarch His Beatitude Youssef III Lahham, representing the Catholic family of churches, His Grace Mounib Younan, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran in Jordan and the Holy Land, on behalf of the Protestant churches, the General Secretary, His Grace Bishop Paul Rohanna and Associate General Secretary, Dr. Elias Halabi. Rev. Dr. Habib Badr, the Moderator of the MECC Task Force, also attended the meeting.

The agenda included two issues: Humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced people in Syria. Until recently, the MECC’s programme operated out of Damascus. Given the deteriorating situation in the country, the presidents decided to decentralize the operation and create new centres for humanitarian aid in Aleppo, Homs, Latakia and Kamishli. They also decided that they would ask other ecumenical organizations in the country to continue their activities, but in coordination with the local churches.

The second item was the nomination of a new general secretary. The current General Secretary Bishop Paul Rohanna, is resigning because of his new calling by his Church as a Diocesan Bishop. According to MECC by-Laws the new general secretary must be nominated during the next six month. They decided to set the procedures.

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