Bishop Shomali visits the Knights of Sardinia
ITALY – The Bishops of the region and Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher in Sardinia invited Bishop William Shomali to participate in an Interreligious Dialogue Symposium on January 18, 2015. Bishop Shomali met with the Knights and Dames. It was an occasion of interesting encounter and a forum of discussion about the crucial reality of the situation in the Middle East.
Bishop Shomali had the pleasure of meeting the Lieutenant H.E. Dr. Efisio Luigi Aste, and many Knights and Dames of Sardinia, mainly from Sassari.
This day of intensive meetings started with a Solemn Masss in a fully packed church. Present were the Bishop Emeritus of Nuoro (Sardinia), H.E. Pietro Meloni, and H.E. Edmond Ferhat, Archbishop of Byblos, Nuncio Emeritus of Lebanon.
In his homily, Bishop Shomali spoke about the vocation and the call of God to Man and underlined to the Knights and Dames how “helping the Holy Land is a vocation, very much like living in the Holy Land is also a vocation and a privilege”. He invited the audience to come on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, reminding them again that the Holy Land is a safe place for pilgrims, despite the less encouraging reports from the media: “the itinerary of pilgrims entails no risk”.
The Mass was followed by a conference and a meeting, a time of enriching exchange where Knights and Dames asked the Bishop questions on the situation of the Church in the Holy Land and the tensions in the Middle East. He stressed that “relations with Islam in the Holy Land is good.” Asked about the escalation of violence in Syria and Iraq, Bishop Shomali urged the faithful “to look always beyond the immediate simple causes.” He spoke about the “apocalyptic situation where forces of evil are active. Total victory belongs nevertheless to truth, to God and to his Church”.
Bishop Shomali thanked his hosts and expressed his hope of welcoming soon the Knights and Dames of Sardinia in Jerusalem.