The Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land held their regular plenary meeting in Haifa earlier this month. They first approved the Ecumenical Pastoral Guidelines for Catholic Churches in the Holy Land. After it has been endorsed by the Holy See, this document will be given to priests as a tool for developing more explicit ecumenical pastoral care. Parish priests will be able to read about the new recommendations regarding Eucharistic celebrations, the administration of certain sacraments and the celebration of mixed marriages.
The Ordinaries also worked on the important issue of Catholic schools. The statistics, collected and presented by the Secretariat for Solidarity, were useful in understanding the current situation of these schools and served as a basis for dialogue with the general secretaries of the various educational establishments. The subject will be discussed again in more depth to help Catholic schools relaunch themselves with more energy and fidelity to the ideals for which they were created, so that they can rediscover their core identity.
The Ordinaries also mentioned the Year of the Family Amoris Laetitia, which opens on 19th March 2021 and ends on 22nd June 2022. It will not be a question of organising celebrations but rather of the formation of young people and the engaged, support for young families, and proximity to people in need or who are suffering. Parish priests must be helped by experienced people to support families.
The next plenary assembly will take place in Nazareth on 5th – 6th October 2021. On this occasion, Catholic Ordinaries will participate in celebrations, already in the pipeline, in honour of Saint Joseph during this year dedicated to him.