DEAD SEA – The 6th Annual Canon Law Conference for bishops, judges, lawyers and pastors was held from July 17-23 near the Dead Sea, Jordan.
The Sixth Annual Canonical Conference entitled “Matrimonial consent and defects in marriage, its provisions and the canonical procedures by the Apostolic Letter – Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” was held this year from July 17-23, in the Mövenpick Hotel, near the Dead Sea. First launched in 2012, these annual conferences are aimed at training clergy and laity, who serve the Ecclesiastical Court of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Amman, on the fundamental questions of canon law and in particular this year on the specific topic of matrimonial consent in marriage.
This year, the conference was a success, in addition to the presence of participants from the Latin Patriarchate, there were priests and bishops from various parts of the Near and Middle East such as Syria, Egypt, Lebanon Armenia and Iraq. Addressing the participants, Italian Lawyers of the Lateran University of Rome – Fr. Manuel Arroba Conde, Fr. Antonio Pr. Christian Begus – presented formal discourses.
The purpose of such conferences is to give the faithful – bishops, priests and laity – better training and expertise on issues of great complexity which often cause distress among the faithful as can be the case when a failed marriage. At the complexity of the issues, add a relatively insufficient training of clergy and the lack of sustainable institutions. Hence the need to develop such training, the achievement and success are only made possible by the generosity of donors.
During the conference, the emphasis was placed on the study of the Motu Proprio “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” issued by Pope Francis, December 8, 2015, which simplifies the existing canonical procedure concerning requests for the nullity of marriage.
This conference ended with a Mass celebrated by the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, with concelebrants Bishop William Shomali, Apostolic Vicar for Jordan, and the many priests who attended the conference throughout the week. After the celebration, Archbishop Pizzaballa presented each participant with a certificate.
Photos: Osama Toubasi
AMMAN – In the north of Amman, the parish of St. Paul in Jubeiha is about to inaugurate the first part of its new Church under construction. It is a great joy for the parishioners, after 35 years of waiting. The Grand Magisterium of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher and the German Lieutenancy will support this ambitious project.
“Thirty years ago, there were only trees”
Just north of Amman, on the outskirts of the city, is a large building that houses the school and the parish of St. Paul in Jubeiha. This neighborhood of the Jordanian capital is slowly expanding to the countryside. . Father Tarek, the parish priest, explains: “Thirty years ago, there were only trees. Then Father Labib arrived and began to pray, initially in various houses and then in this building built in 1991 “. Little by little, the Christian community of Saint Paul in Jubeiha settled.
In 1993, Father Labib completed the work of a mixed school; an institution which today welcomes 700 students, both Christians and Muslims. In the same building, on the second floor, Mass was celebrated and the number of people attending increased. “Many families in the surrounding villages moved to Jubeiha, a somewhat less populated area. While there were 1,200 families five years ago, there are now 1,500, or nearly 7,500 faithful. The density of the parish is also explained by its diversity: Orthodox, Latin and Syriac attend the same Mass on Sunday.
A church to welcome this large community
Over time, the second floor of the existing building was getting small for the growing population. In 2013, with the help of a local benefactor, the parishioners embarked on this project to build a new church across from the existing building. Unfortunately, the work stopped in September 2014 for lack of funds.
“There was no progress for two years. During this time, we continued to regularly celebrate Masses in the unfinished Church. We prayed so much for the work to resume, “explains Father Tarek. In the spring of 2016, the faithful organized everything to celebrate Easter in the structure under construction; a landmark event for the entire community, which was not without risks, the bad weather has not spared the site.”
In order to put an end to this temporary situation, Fr. Tarek and other parishioners were mobilized to raise the funds. A campaign which made it possible to raise nearly 220 000 JDs, a sum enough to initiate the resumption of works but not to complete them. In order to finish this ambitious project, new funds are necessary. On Thursday 27 April Dr. Brümmer and Cornelia Kimberger, respectively Lieutenant and Head of the Holy Land Commission of the German Lieutenancy of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre came on a visit, a preliminary step to contribute their help and support.
To end this temporary situation, Father Tarek and all the parishioners campaigned to raise funds and raised nearly 220,000 JD, an amount sufficient for the resumption of work but not enough to complete this ambitious project, new funds are needed. Also, on Thursday, April 27, Dr Brümmer, lieutenant of the German Lieutenancy of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher and Cornelia Kimberger, president of the Holy Land Commission of the German Lieutenancy visited the site and offered support.
Inauguration of the ground floor planned for this summer
Thanks to the funds raised by the parishioners, construction work resumed in October 2015. “We are so happy. “says Father Tarek. “We have waited 35 years for a Church… “In front of the existing building, construction is in full swing and the concrete mixer is operating at full speed. The Church building will have two which will include a huge parish hall on the ground floor and a spacious Church on the first floor. Father Tarek, is confident, and would like to inaugurate the lower floor this summer. To achieve this, the Latin Patriarchate projects office is seeking sufficient funds to complete the first floor and procure the liturgical materials
TAYBEH – To meet the need for supervised and animated activities for young people and children of the village, a social center will open shortly in the parish of Taybeh.
At the initiative of Father Johnny Abu Khalil, Latin priest of this town, a social center for young people aged 8 to 25 will soon open. In the months that followed his arrival in this last entirely Christian town in Palestine, Father Johnny discovered that there were very few activities available to the youth after school. They spend their time on the streets, smoking and drinking in cars until late at night. The study carried out jointly by the parish priest and the Latin Patriarchate showed that this lack of social and entertainment centers encourage this situation. It should also be noted that the youth face obvious economic problems in Palestine: few employment opportunities, confinement in the territory with very limited financial resources.
So, this Center aims to recreate social links among young people and to give hope for the future. New facilities will be made available in the buildings: a recreation room, a library, a parish garden and a coffee shop. A team will welcome the youth and provide daily activities in the center. Young people can invest their time and offer their services with remuneration, in operating the coffee shop which will be open to everyone. Families will also be welcome in the Center to enjoy the garden in a friendly and healthy atmosphere, a way to ease tensions and promote peace, conducive to the professional integration of the young people.
This project is linked to the Latin Patriarchate and its Project Development Office is seeking financial support for the completion of the new Center where young people can grow and develop in a serene setting. Families can as well experience some inner peace in this place of encounter