Bishop Brian reflects on the first day of the Caritas Conference in Beirut 

Deus caritas est – God is love! Jesus loved everyone perfectly and so from its very beginnings the Church understood that Christians must also love, especially the poor and needy.
Christians serve people in countless ways and one example is through the Caritas movement which began in Germany in 1897. To encourage a coordinated Catholic response to suffering across the world the Church invited national Caritas groups to form a central body called Caritas Internationalis (CI). Today 165 Catholic national aid agencies make up CI and SCIAF proudly represents Scotland.
I am participating at Caritas’ Regional Conference for the Middle East and North Africa along with SCIAF’s Director, Alistair Dutton. Today we reflected that the Church’s nature is to love, that service is essential for Christians, that professionalism complements empathy before studying some of the complex challenges Caritas faces in the Middle East and North Africa. As well as praying together I have benefited from chatting with Catholics from these ancient Christian communities, who are no strangers to difficulties, but who remain rich in faith.
Note – Caritas MONA is from the French ‘Moyen Orient Nord Afrique’