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

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion - Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (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 Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights." (Proverbs 3:11,12 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I pray Thee, compassionate Lord, do not allow me to be condemned because of the unworthy and ungrateful manner in which I contemplate the great mysteries that Thou hast revealed to Thy saints and through them to me, a sinner and Thy unworthy servant. For see, Lord, Thy servant stands before Thee, idle in everything, speechless, as one who is dead; and I do not dare to say anything more or to presumptuously contemplate further. But as always I fall down before Thee, crying from the depths of my soul. . . .

St. Peter of Damascus