BRUSSELS, November 14th 2012 (SIGNIS) – The Board of Directors of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, meeting in Beirut, Lebanon from November 7-12th, have unanimously voted to hold their next World Congress and Assembly in Lebanon from October 19-25th, 2013 with the theme of “Media for a Culture of Peace, Creating Images with the New Generation”. This will be the first time a SIGNIS Congress has been held in the Middle East.
The Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Bechara al-Rai, hailed the decision to hold the Congress in Lebanon: “This is something of the Divine Providence, for as Pope Benedict XVI announced in September 2012 his call for peace – the theme of his visit was “I Give You My Peace” -, you would carry it out in October 2013. This is what we call “prophetic”, your decision is prophetic! I say this decision and the theme of the congress “media for a culture of peace” is nothing but the implementation of the Holy Father’s call.”
According to Augustine Loorthusamy, the President of SIGNIS, “The Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, reminded us that Pope Benedict called Christians in this region to be people of peace who can help bring reconciliation, dialogue and promote human values. The Congress will bring together Catholic media professionals from across the world. Together, they will explore how they can work in solidarity with the new generation as they create alternative images of peace in the Middle East and elsewhere.”
“We are honoured to be invited to Beirut by our Lebanese friends and have been impressed and overwhelmed by their generosity, enthusiasm and commitment”, he added. “We have been particularly inspired by the example of SIGNIS members in Lebanon, especially the work of Télé Lumière and Noursat.”
General Manager of Télé Lumière Jacques Kallassi stressed the importance of choosing Lebanon to promote media for a culture of peace. “It is a country that was shattered by wars and emerged to be born again, full of diversity, freedom of expression, and playing a major role in strengthening and promoting multi-cultural understanding and religious dialogue in the Middle East”.