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Peace: Card. Bassetti, meeting in Bari in November 2019, “it is a dream come true”

“It is a dream come true”. This is what Card. Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), said about the Reflection and Spirituality Meeting for Peace in the Mediterranean, which will be held in Bari in mid-November 2019, as decided by the bishops who took part in the Permanent Episcopal Council which ended yesterday. “The Pope’s meeting with all the Christian communities in the Middle East is still engraved on my memory”, Card. Bassetti told journalists at a press conference at the headquarters of Vatican Radio today: “There cannot be pockets, like Syria, which are completely abandoned”, he decried, referring to the ongoing war and the situation in Lebanon, with four million inhabitants and 1,600,000 refugees “sheltered with wisdom, in an attempt to avoid concentration camps”: “We must ensure that they can return to their homeland once the situation improves”, the cardinal said, also praising the establishment of humanitarian corridors. The meeting in Bari – Card. Bassetti explained – will be attended by the presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of coastal countries, each of whom may decide to be accompanied by two other persons. The presence of non-Latin bishops will also be given special emphasis, with representatives of the Oriental Churches and the presence of Orthodox bishops. The Permanent Council, which ended yesterday, approved the proposal put forward by Card. Bassetti to set up a scientific committee – chaired by the president himself and coordinated by Mgr. Antonino Raspanti – tasked with the planning of the event, which Mgr. Francesco Cacucci, Archbishop of Bari, said he was “very pleased to host”.

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