Special Assembly for Lebanon of the Synod of Bishops
In Session: 26 November - 14 December 1995
Synod Fathers: 69
Topic: “Christ is Our Hope: Renewed by His Spirit, in Solidarity We Bear Witness to His Love”
Because of the particular needs of the Church in Lebanon created by the prolonged situation of war, the Holy Father announced on 6 June 1991 his intention to convoke a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Lebanon. After subsequent initial meetings with the Patriarchs of the Oriental Churches in Lebanon, a ten-member Council, representing the 6 sui juris Catholic Churches in Lebanon, was appointed in January, 1992 to render assistance in the required preparatory work. At the same time, a Lebanese bishop was also designated as an on-site coordinator.
The Lineamenta of the Special Assembly was made public on 13 March 1993, beginning the phase of prayer and reflection on the Synod topic by the local dioceses and various Church bodies in Lebanon, a period which lasted until 1 November 94. The responses to the Lineamenta were incorporated in the Instrumentum laboris, the Special Assembly’s working document, which served as the point of reference during the synodal Assembly. On 12 December, an annotated version of the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches, published under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, was distributed to the synod fathers.
On 10 May 1997 the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Une Espérance nouvelle pour le Liban” (“A New Hope for Lebanon”), was published during a papal visit to Lebanon for the oftlinecelebration phase of the Special Assembly. An Arab translation of the document, prepared by the Assembly of Patriarchs and Bishops in Lebanon (A.P.E.C.L.), was subsequently published in 1998. The Post-Synodal Council, resulting from this special assembly, continues to hold meetings to evaluate the impact and implementation of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation in Lebanon. In this regard, a report was prepared and mailed in 2003 to the hierarchy of Lebanon, the heads of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Patriarchs, Major Archbishops and Metropolitans of the Eastern Churches sui iuris, the presidents of the episcopal conferences worldwide and other interested parties. Since then, the Special Council has met periodically to assess the situation in Lebanon.
S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, Patriarca d’Antiochia dei Maroniti (Libano)
S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Achille Silvestrini, Prefetto della Congregazione per le Chiese Orientali (Vaticano)
S.Em.R. il Sig. Card. Jan Pieter Schotte, C.I.C.M. (Vaticano)
S.E.R. Mons. Cyrille Salim Bustros, M.S.S.P., Arcivescovo di Baalbek dei greco-melkiti (Libano)
S.E.R. Mons. Guy Paul Noujaim, Vescovo tit. di Cesarea di Filippi e Vicario patriarcale per Sarba dei maroniti (Libano)