Διά τά ἐγκαίνια τοῦ ἱεροῦ ναοῦ τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἰσαάκ τοῦ Σύρου, τοῦ ἁγίου Μεγαλομάρτυρος Γεωργίου τοῦ Τροπαιοφόρου καί τοῦ ἁγίου Μακαρίου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Ἱεροσολύμων εἰς Ντόχαν/Κατάρ ἡ Α.Θ.Μ. ὁ Πατήρ ἡμῶν καί Πατριάρχης Ἱεροσολύμων κ.κ. Θεόφιλος ἀνεχώρησεν ἐξ Ἱεροσολύμων τήν πρωΐαν τῆς Πέμπτης, 8ης/21ης Φεβρουαρίου 2019, κατευθυνόμενος πρός τό ἀεροδρόμιον τοῦ Ben Gurion  εἰς Τελ-Ἀβίβ καί ἐκεῖθεν μέσῳ Ἀμμάν τῆς Ἰορδανίας πρός Κατάρ, συνοδευόμενος ὑπό τοῦ Σεβασμιωτάτου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Κωνσταντίνης κ. Ἀριστάρχου, τοῦ Σεβασμιωτάτου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Πέλλης κ. Φιλουμένου, τοῦ Ἀρχιμανδρίτου Εὐδοκίμου πνευματικοῦ τῆς ἱερᾶς Λαύρας ὁσίου Σάββα τοῦ ἡγιασμένου καί τοῦ Ἀρχιδιακόνου Μάρκου.

Εἰς Κατάρ ὁ Μακαριώτατος ἀφίχθη τό ἀπόγευμα τῆς Πέμπτης 8ης/21ης Φεβρουαρίου 2019.  Ἐνταῦθα ἐγένετο δεκτός ὑπό τοῦ Σεβασμιωτάτου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Καττάρων κ. Μακαρίου, τῶν ἱερέων τῆς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Κατάρ, Πρεσβυτέρου Δημητρίου καί Πρεσβυτέρου Στυλιανοῦ, τῶν συνεργατῶν τῆς Ἱερᾶς Ἀρχιεπισκοπῆς Κατάρ, ἀντιπροσώπων τῆς Κυβερνήσεως Κατάρ,  ὡς τοῦ Ὑπουργοῦ Ἐξωτερικῶν κ.ἄ. καί ἀνεχώρησε διά τό ξενοδοχεῖον τῆς διαμονῆς Αὐτοῦ ὡς ἐπίσημος προσκεκλημένος τοῦ κράτους τοῦ Κατάρ.

Τό ἑσπέρας τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης ἔλαβε χώραν εἰς τόν ὑπό ἐγκαινιασμόν ἱερόν ναόν τοῦ ἁγίου Ἰσαάκ τοῦ Σύρου καί τοῦ ἁγίου μεγαλομάρτυρος Γεωργίου ἡ ὑπό τῶν Προσκόπων καί τοῦ ἀθρόου πληρώματος τῆς Ἐκκλησίας ἐπίσημος ὑποδοχή τοῦ Μακαριωτάτου, ὁ πανηγυρικός Ἑσπερινός τῶν Ἐγκαινίων, ψαλλούσης τῆς ἐκ Θεσσαλονίκης χορῳδίας ὑπό τήν διεύθυνσιν τοῦ κ. Ἰωάννου Χασανίδου ἑλληνιστί καί ὑπό τῆς χορῳδίας τῆς ἐνορίας ἀραβιστί, ἡ ἀποκάλυψις τῆς ἀφιερωτικῆς κτιτορικῆς ἐπιγραφῆς εἰς τήν πρόσοψιν τοῦ Ἱεροῦ Ναοῦ ἑλληνιστί καί ἀραβιστί, λεγούσης ὅτι: «ὁ θεμέλιος λίθος τοῦ Ναοῦ τούτου ἐτοποθετήθη ὑπό τοῦ Μακαριωτάτου Πατριάρχου Ἱεροσολύμων κ. Θεοφίλου τήν 16ην Ἀπριλίου 2010 ἐπί τῆς Κυβερνήσεως τοῦ Πατρός Ἐμίρη Σεΐχη Hamad Bin Khalifa Al- Thani  καί ὅτι ἐνεκαινιάσθη ὑπ’ Αὐτοῦ τῇ 22ρα Φεβρουαρίου 2019 ἐπί τοῦ κτίτορος Σεβασμιωτάτου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Καττάρων κ. Μακαρίου καί ἐπί τῆς Κυβερνήσεως τῆς Α.Μ. τοῦ Σεΐχη Tamin Bin Hamad Al- Thani  Ἐμίρης τοῦ Κατάρ», καί  ἡ προσφώνησις τοῦ Μακαριωτάτου, παρουσίᾳ τοῦ Ὑπουργοῦ Ἐξωτερικῶν τοῦ Κατάρ  καί ἄλλων Κυβερνητικῶν Ἐκπροσώπων καί πλήθους λαοῦ, ἐχούσης ὡς ἕπεται:

“Your Eminence Archbishop Makarios,

Your Eminences,

Your Graces,

Respected Local Officials,

Dear Fathers,

Beloved Faithful,

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

His steadfast love endures forever!

This is the day that the Lord has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

(Ps. 118:1,24)

It is an honour for us to be with you today, and we rejoice with great gladness on the occasion of the consecration of the completed Church of Saint Isaac the Syriac and Saint George here in Doha. We wish to express our gratitude to you, Your Eminence, Archbishop Makarios, for the hard work and dedication that you have invested in the building of this Church, and we wish also to acknowledge and thank all those many people who have been benefactors and who have worked themselves to make the dream of an Orthodox Church in Doha a reality.

There have been many years in the construction, and we can at last give thanks to Almighty God for the faith and steadfastness of so many who have brought this project to a happy conclusion.

On this occasion, we must also observe that the State of Qatar boasts not only exceptional economic progress and development, but also promotes a diverse cultural life. Since 2008, Christians have been able to build churches here on land contributed by the government, and there is an important tradition here of interfaith dialogue. Over the years, many important interfaith conferences and gatherings have been held here, and we welcome to this occasion our friends from other religious traditions.

The presence of the Churches in the State of Qatar, which allows freedom of worship within the frame of the civil law, is a testimony to the careful government of the Qatari authorities as well as to the wise rule of the present Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and his father, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Father Emir of Qatar. Qatar was the first Gulf State to make history by opening the door to non-Muslim religions. We wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to them for all that they have done to open the way for the building of this church.

The consecration of this church is significant for several important reasons.

First of all, this Church establishes the presence of the Orthodox Church in Qatar on a secure footing. At last the faithful have a permanent Church for worship and for the events of the community. The Rum Orthodox Church and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem have deep roots in this region, and we were witnesses to the emergence of Islamic faith and culture.

In addition to this historical truth, this Orthodox community in Doha is representative of the oikomene – the inhabited world – for gathered here are the people from all over the world. Qatar is well known for its international flavor, and this Orthodox community also reflects this international life. Here we see the living out of the vision of the Psalmist, who said;

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,

the world, and those who live in it.

(Psalm 24:1)

But perhaps most significantly the consecration of this Church that is dedicated to St. Isaac and to Saint George is a testimony that challenges the so-called “clash” of civilizations between Christianity and Islam. Where Christianity and Islam are lived in their true fullness, they have co-existed for centuries in respect and mutual understanding. Indeed, the dedication of this church to Saint George is a sign of this, as both Christians and Muslims share a deep veneration for Saint George.

The Arab peninsula as well as the Arab peoples of the Gulf, like all the regions of the Middle East, share a civilization of common religious and moral values, grounded in the respective Holy Books. These common fundamental religious and moral values have shaped and formed a common human civilization that understands the richness of our multi-ethnic, multi-religious landscape.

All these considerations make the consecration of this Church a historic moment. And if we may be permitted a personal note, it gives us a deep personal satisfaction to preside over this consecration, as we served here in this community 20 years ago, and we came to love and respect the Emirate of Qatar, its leaders, and its people.

On behalf of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Synod, we take this opportunity to convey the blessings of the Holy Tomb to this community, and to thank all those who have contributed to the building up of this Orthodox community and the completion of this church. We take deep pride in all that you have accomplished, dear Archbishop Makarios, on behalf of our Brotherhood.

May God bless you and our congregation, which is under your spiritual and pastoral care, and may God bless all the people of our beloved Qatar.

Thank you”.

Τήν τελετήν ἠκολούθησε ἑόρτιος τράπεζα, παρατεθεῖσα ὑπό τοῦ Σεβασμιωτάτου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Καττάρων κ. Μακαρίου εἰς τήν αἴθουσαν κάτωθι τοῦ Ἱεροῦ Ναοῦ.

Ἐκ τῆς Ἀρχιγραμματείας