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

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Exaltation of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance; * grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect Your commonwealth by Your Cross. (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.

Willingly lifted up on the Cross, O Christ God, * bestow Your compassions upon the new commonwealth that bears Your name. * By your power grant joy to Your Church, * granting her victory over her enemies. * May she have your Cross as the weapon of peace * and the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14th.

Nativity of the Mother of God

Your nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, * heralded joy to all the world; * for from you has dawned the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * and, having annulled the curse, He gave the blessing * and by destroying Death He granted us eternal life. (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.

Through your holy nativity, O Immaculate One, * Joachim and Anna were freed from the reproach of childlessness, * and Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. * Delivered from the guilt of sin, your people celebrate this as they cry out to you: * "The barren woman gives birth to the Mother of God, the Nourisher of our Life." (Kontakion - Tone 4)

The Church celebrates the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God on September 8th.

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

While the Bridegroom tarried, they slumbered and slept: Give ear, ye prudent, to our Lord's parable, for it is all light. All of them slept, both the foolish and the wise -- Which signifies that the good and the wicked die until the resurrection. The same sleep comes upon the ten of them, which is as much as to say, That death is the same for all creation without distinction. One was the sleep of the wise and of the foolish, For one is death, both of the righteous and of sinners. The good die, as the wise virgins slept; And the bad die, as the foolish also slept. Behold, all creation looketh for the coming of the Bridegroom, Christ, Who cometh at the end with His angels. But since He hath tarried, all generations slumber and sleep with the sleep of death, while looking for when He cometh.

A Homily on the Ten Virgins by Mar Jacob, Bishop of Serugh