Deisis (Novogorod)

Letter of Patriarch Gregorios III on Palestine

Protocol 308/2010 R

Rabweh  2/6/2010

 

Appeal to Arab kings, presidents and leaders

 

Dear brothers,

 

In these difficult times and tragic circumstances, we are addressing to you this appeal born of the sufferings that we are all living through alongside the Palestinian people. Arab and Palestinian blood, the cries of our children, the emigration of our young people and the despair of our senior citizens call us to work then by all means to restore order both in inter-Palestinian relations to achieve Palestinian unity, and in inter-Arab relations, to enable united Arabs to speak with a single voice gathering all together to urge the international community to put an end to the constant strife that is destroying our societies; for a house divided against itself cannot stand, as our Lord Jesus Christ says in the Holy Gospel.

The Melkite Greek Catholic Church has continually and repeatedly borne witness in favour of Arab causes in general and the Palestinian cause in particular, in the person of bishop Gregorios Hajjar, martyr for the Palestinian cause, as well as His Grace our brother bishop Hilarion Capucci, witness, campaigner and defender of that cause.

The presence of His Grace on board the peace flotilla to raise the blockade of Gaza is a symbol and affirmation of the involvement of our Church with Palestinians, Palestinian rights and the Palestinian cause. His Grace's campaign is moreover evidence of the Catholic Church's position and that of the Popes themselves, a firm and clear position towards the Palestinian cause and Palestinian rights, expressed by support given to Palestinian refugees by Catholic Christian institutions in our East and throughout the whole world.

In view of our support for the campaign of our brother bishop Hilarion, our patriarchal sovereignty has for some years now been minded not to allow our brother bishop Hilarion to be obliged to step down from his ecclesial function on grounds of being past the statutory retirement age. That is why His Grace continues to be styled Patriarchal Vicar General of Jerusalem and bishop in exile, everywhere representing the Church of Jerusalem.

As head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and Patriarch of Jerusalem and in the name of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and in the name of the Council of Catholic Churches in Syria, let us by your side cry aloud and shout to all the nations of the world for peace and the resolution of the Palestinian case. The future of our rising generations is in danger and emigration, exile, depression, fanaticism and oppression are the source of wars and struggles, which, in the absence of intervention, will affect the whole world.

Condemnations are no longer any use and our peoples are weary of condemnations, while the world has heard it all before, so we are asking you all to take the necessary steps, regardless of cost, to work actively and in co-ordination with Western countries and the United States to oblige Israel to make peace, which is the only glimmer of hope for our future, that of our East and of the whole world.

Lastly, I am praying almighty God to grant peace to the land of Peace.

 

 

Gregorios III

 

 

 

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

 


Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." (Proverbs 3:28 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

When you are praying, watch over yourself so that not only your outward man prays, but your inward one also. Though you be sinful beyond measure, still pray. Do not heed the devil's provocation, craftiness, and despair, but overcome and conquer his wiles. Remember the abyss of the Saviour's mercy and love to mankind. The devil will represent the Lord's fact to you as terrible and unmerciful, rejecting your prayer and repentance; but remember the Saviour's own words, full of every hope and boldness for us: `Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out'; and `Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden' - with sins and iniquities, and wiles and calumnies of the devil - and I will give you rest.'

St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ