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.


Joachim and Anna Rejoice

Today the bonds of childlessness are loosed, * for God has heard Joachim and Anna * and He promises manifestly that they, against all hope, would give birth to the Maiden of God * from whom the Uncircumscribed One Himself would be born, becoming man, * and he commanded the Angels to cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

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

Today the whole world celebrates * the conception of Anne which was brought about by God, * for she gave birth to the one who, beyond understanding, * gave birth to the Word. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

Saint Nicholas of Myra

The truth of your deeds has revealed you to your flock, * as a rule of faith, an image of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence. * Therefore, you attained the heights through humility, * and riches through poverty. * O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, * pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved. (Troparion, Tone 4)

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

In Myra, You were shown to be a servant of the sacred things, O Holy Nicholas, * for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, you, O Venerable, laid down your life for your people, * and saved the innocent from death. * Therefore, you were sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God. (Kontakion, Tone 3)