Fifth Annual Canon Law Conference Concludes Sessions in Jordan

The Fifth Annual Canon Law Conference, titled, “Matrimony and ad hoc Rules Governing the Tribunal Procedures”, concluded its sessions in Jordan on Sunday, July 24.

Present at the conference, organized by the Ecclesiastical Court of the Latin Patriarchate and the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, were Patriarch Fouad Twal and Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate Rev. Pierbattista Pizaballa. The participants in the conference also included priests, lawyers and judges specialized in canon law from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Italy.

The final statement issued by the conference on Sunday, July 24, according to the media spokesperson of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, discussed matrimony and ad hoc rules governing the tribunal procedures according to the Apostolic Letter–Motu Proprio Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus “The Gentle Judge, our Lord Jesus.”

The lectures at the conference were delivered by Bishop Hanna Alwan, Maronite Patriarchal Vicar for Legal issues, Rev. Prof. Arroba Conde, dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, Professor Antonio Iaccarino, Fr. Dr. Maroun Naser, Fr. Dr. Raymon Girges, and Fr. Dr. Faisal Hijazin.

At the conclusion of their meetings, the participants expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s King, government and people for the hospitality conveyed to them at in the places where they convened their meetings and visited. They also thanked the Latin Patriarchate and its Ecclesiastical Courts which organized the fifth conference in Jordan. They also thanked the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome for enriching the conference with lectures and studies. The statement added that the meetings held in the Dead Sea area included visits to the Baptismal Site which confirms the Jordan’s deep-rooted role in history and the importance of its touristic, historical, religious and natural treasures.

The conference concluded its sessions by celebrating Sunday Mass presided by Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal at Our Lady of Peace Center. Following the Mass, he presented the certificates of the Fifth Annual Canon Law Conference and expressed his appreciation for the efforts exerted by President of the Conference Fr. Salaytah, and Fr. Shawki Batarian, deputy chancellor of the Ecclesiastical Court in Amman. He also thanked the participating delegations from the Arab countries, calling for the attainment of peace and tranquility in the entire region. He also thanked the parties sponsoring the conference, namely the Latin Patriarchate, the Pontifical Lateran University, the Franciscan Custody of the Holy land, the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, Caritas Jordan, Bank of Palestine, the Society of St. Yves, the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, and the other media outlets that covered the events of the conference.

The conference issued the following recommendations:

1. Introducing a mechanism to follow up on whatever to be issued by the Holy See; studying all the new laws relevant to the ecclesiastical courts that are issued by the Vatican; as well as translating them into Arabic and forwarding them to judges and lawyers.

2. Getting familiarized with the new laws issued by Churches and courts of the Middle East countries relevant to family affairs and marriage.

3. Establishing a forum for ecclesiastical lawyers so as to exchange expertise, as well as hold workshops and conduct studies.

4. Establishing an electronic network that links all the ecclesiastical courts in the East.

5. Holding courses specialized in ecclesiastical affairs for lawyers.

6. Coordinating the relationship among courts, parishes and Sagesse University, as well as holding special courses and providing scholarships for canon law students.

7. Sending a message to the Secretary of the Catholic Patriarchs of the Middle East to request convening a regular session to discuss the status of ecclesiastical courts in the East.

8. Holding this conference on regular bases by maintaining its regional and comprehensive nature for the Middle East countries.

9. Preparing a programme designed to promote and rehabilitate the vocational progress of ecclesiastical lawyers in a way that suits the various Catholic ecclesiastical courts in Egypt.

10. Circulating books on law that are issued during the year, particularly in Arabic, in the annual regional conference.

11. Publishing the sessions of the conference in a book and on a special website designed to disseminate knowledge.

12. Establishing a union for the ecclesiastical lawyers and judges in the Arab region.

13. Setting up a follow-up committee to ensure the implementation of the recommendations. The committee to last for one year was elected. It consisted of Bishop Hanna Alwan, president; Fr. Shawki Batarian, deputy chairman and coordinator; Fr. Maroun Touma from Syria; Fr. Salim Sakka from Iraq; and Fr. Francis Nowair from Egypt.

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