Meeting of Christian schools: “How to teach forgiveness in our schools?”
JERICHO – On Friday February, 5, 2016 some 60 directors of Christian schools met for a day of study under the theme of teaching forgiveness in schools.
In the framework of the Jubilee of Mercy, Directors of Christian Schools of the Holy Land met under the theme of teaching forgiveness in schools. Among the participants Mgr Joseph Zerey, Greek Catholic Archbishop of Jerusalem, Head of Council of Bishops for Education, Mgr William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem, Fr. Faysal Hijazen, Director of LPJ schools, Mr. Mohammad al-Hawash, Director of education in Jericho, Fr. Hieronymus, Archimandrite and Director of Education Committee of Orthodox Schools, Dr. Charlie Haddad, Director of Lutheran Schools, Fr. Issa Musleh, Director of Greek orthodox Schools.
The Palestinian Minister of Education, Mr. Sabri Saidam was invited to this day. He expressed his gratitude towards Christian schools for their important role they play in the education of Palestinian youth, reminding that Palestine is a country of the Middle East which counts the least percentage illiteracy and the highest of university graduates. The Minister referred to the difficulties which the Palestinian Government meets in order to bring necessary material to education and to build new schools.
In his intervention, Bishop William Shomali insisted on the importance of teaching forgiveness, a basic issue in individual, socio-familial development: “Absence of forgiveness brings in a vicious circle of violence and hatred (…) Forgiveness frees man from many issues, both spiritual and physical”. Bishop Shomali backed his statement by following the example of Pope John Paul II who forgave his assailant. He underlined that pardon was a value common to the three Abrahamic religions: “the notion of forgiveness is found in the Torah, Coran and the Gospels. One of the first titles of God is in effect “Merciful and Compassionate”