PPCU’s Rector meets with Church and University leaders in Lebanon June 6, 2018

New possible inter-institutional cooperation in Lebanon

Professor Szuromi Szabolcs, the Rector of PPCU has discussed inter-university cooperation between May 28th and June 3rd in Lebanon, has paid a salutary visit to the head of the Maronite Church and was welcomed by the Armenian Catholicos of Cilicia.

Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPCU) and the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) has signed an agreement of cooperation in October of 2011, which led to the continuous expansion of the education and research relations of Catholic universities maintained by the Hungarian and the Maronite Church. Prof. Szuromi, the Rector of PPCU has started his one-week official visit from May 28th with the purpose of expanding this close partnership to a wider collaboration with other Maronite universities. In this connection he visited the Monastery of Saint Anthony of Padua in Ghazir, headquarters of the General Presidency of the Lebanese Maronite monastery; had detailed talks with Lebanese Rectors Fr. Michel Jalakah (Antonine University) and R. F. Khalil Chalfoun (Sagesse University), as well as Vice-President Father Dr. Talal Hachem (USEK).

Collaborations with the Maronite University network intend to enrich the students', teachers' and researchers' mobility activities with each of the universities' most outstanding disciplines; as well as organizing different levels of international conferences. Based on detailed discussions the parties will cooperate in several scientific programs related to the fields of computer science, engineering, communication and media studies as well as politics and law. Due to the Catholic nature of the institutions, the agreement also covers the holy science disciplines, namely Theology and Canon Law. The Maronite institutions warmly welcomed PPCU's initiative of education and research partnership within the fields of family studies and sustainability; among with the creation of joint events and forums as a platform for the dialogue between religions. During the discussion PPCU's Rector has invited the Maronite choir to the International Eucharistic Congress in 2020, which act was much appreciated by the present universities' representatives.

The Rector of PPCU also conversed with Rev. Paul Haidostian, Rector of Haigazian University about enlargement of the historical, cultural and language training related the Armenian diaspora. At the same time Prof. Szuromi has participated in the centenary celebrations of the Armenian Missionary Association of America as a guest of Rev. Paul Haidostian on May 31st, meeting with distinguished actors of the Armenian international public life and members of the new Lebanese government and parliamentary factions.

As a part of his official program Prof Szuromi was granted private audience with Aram I Keshishian, head of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Antelias. The cordial discussions involved PPCU's Armenian studies, as well as theological matters.

At the end of his visit Prof. Szuromi met Cardinal Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, Patriach of Antioch with whom he reviewed the new opportunities - beneficial to both Parties – arising from the cooperation with the Maronite University network.

The official visit was concluded on June 2nd by a celebratory mass of concelebration.