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     Home > Synod >  2010-10-17 15:08:34
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Intervention of Mons. Michel ABRASS, Titular Archbishop of Myra of the Greek-Melkites, Bishop of the Patriarchal Curia of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites (SYRIA)

As regards our problems in Lebanon, they are many as well as complex. Leaving aside political problems, we satisfy ourselves with pointing our finger at three problems, that is to say that of the formation of seminarians, ecclesiastical Tribunals, and positive laity.
Regarding the formation of seminarians, there is first of all the problem of choice; it is useless to go by the back roads, the majority currently choose the ecclesiastical “career” and not the vocation, and this is to attain an eminent place in society or for economic reasons.
The confessional tribunals are of two different natures; some are State Tribunals, while others are an expression of the power of each community which designates its members.
At the time of the application of the theory of the character of the laws, it was the Sunnite tribunals who applied the “Shari’a” of Abou Hanifa, making up the “Corpus Juris” of the Ottoman Empire, to which were added other laws voted by the Parliament or promulgated by “Irada Sannia”, that is by Rescript or Imperial Edict. This first phenomenon was subsequently developed, especially after the “Gülhane Edict” promulgated in 1836. It is of this “Law” that the State Tribunals became the “zealous applicants”.

The problems of choice of “regime” applicable to Lebanon, presents itself with acuity to today’s laity; in fact, many lay persons ask themselves what will become of their life if they declare themselves as Christians, without shading their position with a measure of laity, depending on the degree of emancipation of their non-Christian interlocutor, often of the Muslim religion in the Middle East.
These Christians need a “certain positive laicity”.
Where do they go to find it?
Presently, our “lay flock” denies itself; it is a matter of their giving a legitimacy that the only ones with power to give it are the Ecclesiastics provided that it had been acquired by their statutes.
We think that Christians who so desire should be authorized to adopt lay statute, without betraying the Dogmas or the teachings of the Churches, keeping in mind that one is not in a solely Christian land.

[00183-02.03] [IN120] [Original text: French]


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