Umayyad Palace, Damascus
15 December 2010

On December 15 there will be held in Damascus, Syria, a congress to discuss the impact on Middle Eastern countries of the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Catholic Bishops. The congress will be held under the auspices of the Syrian Ministry of the Awqaf and the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate.

The Minister, Dr. Muhammad Abd as-Sattar as-Sayyid, acting at the instigation of Dr. Bashar al- Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, has invited Christian leaders and Muslim muftis and Ministers of the Awqaf from Arab and neighbouring countries, as well as representatives of the Apostolic Holy See of Rome and the Churches of Eastern Europe. His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregorios III will be co-hosting the event.

Invited participants include:

(from the Orthodox Churches outside the Middle East)

H. E. Emmanuel, Metropolitan of France
Representative of H. H. Bartholomaios, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

H. B. Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa

H. H. Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia

H. B. Daniel, Patriarch of Romania

H. B. Chrysostomos II, Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and all Cyprus

H. B. Hieronymos II, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece

(from the Catholic Churches)

H. B. Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč

H. E. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches

H. E. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

H. E. Archbishop Nikola Eterović, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops

H. E. Vincent Landel, Archbishop of Rabat and President of the Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa

H. E. Ghaleb Moussa Abdalla Bader, Archbishop of Algiers

H. E. Maroun Elias Nimeh Lahham, Archbishop of Tunis

 

Patriarch Gregorios III talks about the Synod for the Middle East in Syria and Lebanon

On 26 November Patriarch Gregorios III gave a talk at Rabweh, Lebanon about the significance of the Synod for the Middle East.

On 29 November, he gave a similar talk at the Patriarchate in Damascus, Syria.

Conference on the Synod for the Middle East to be held on December 3 in Lebanon

Interreligious dialogue will be the theme of a conference to be held at the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchal College in Beirut, Lebanon, at which His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregorios III will speak, together with Dr. Mohammad Sammak, General Secretary of the Islamic-Christian National Dialogue Committee of Lebanon, in the presence of a mixed audience of Christians and Muslims of all denominations.

V. C.


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)

Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

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

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Our distresses are notorious, even though we leave them untold, for now their sound has gone out into all the world. The doctrines of the Fathers are despised; apostolic traditions are set at nought; the devices of innovators are in vogue in the Churches; now men are rather contrivers of cunning systems than theologians; the wisdom of this world wins the highest prizes and has rejected the glory of the cross. Shepherds are banished, and in their places are introduced grievous wolves hurrying the flock of Christ. Houses of prayer have none to assemble in them; desert places are full of lamenting crowds. The elders lament when they compare the present with the past. The younger are yet more to be compassionated, for they do not know of what they have been deprived. All this is enough to stir the pity of men who have learnt the love of Christ; but, compared with the actual state of things, words fall very far short....

Saint Basil the Great
(Letter 90)