We are deeply honoured, dear Bishop Hosam, to be present on this blessed day of your ordination and consecration as a bishop. This celebration is the culmination of years of dedication to education, pastoral service, and leadership in your diocese and in the wider Church. You have proved yourself worthy of many responsibilities and today the greatest responsibility that the Church can bestow is now laid on your shoulders.
A Bishop is first and foremost a pastor after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Good Shepherd of his people. For the Lord says:
“I am the good shepherd I know my own and my own know me”.
You are called to the diakonia of the Church, of the sacraments, and of the clergy and the laity of your community without distinction, and you are called further to the diakonia even of those outside your flock, who may at any time turn to you for help.
Dear Bishop Hosam, you are known for your strong commitments. For you have been serving as the Secretary to the Council of the Jerusalem Church Committees, where you have demonstrated devotion to our ecumenical and interfaith work on behalf of all the communities of our beloved Holy Land. Your ability to work with in our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious society is a crucial skill that you bring, and you remind us of the role of the bishop as “bridge-builder”, for many are the bridges for peace, justice, and reconciliation that you have already built. We have every confidence that your experience and gifts will be of genuine usefulness as you take your place among us as a bishop.
Allow us to honour His Grace, Archbishop Suheil, who has exercised oversight over the diocese for so many years in difficult circumstances with clarity, devotion, energy, and faithfulness, and who has exercised respected leadership in our region. Furthermore, we recognise the presence with us of the distinguished Consul General of Great Britain.
We are also pleased to welcome to the Holy City His Grace Archbishop Michael and His Grace Bishop Peter, who are well known to us and committed advocates of the Christian presence in the Holy Land and in the Middle East, and who have both travelled here during this pandemic that has brought confusion around the world in order to ensure that his crucial ordination could take place. We wish to express our collective gratitude to you both, dear Bishops, for the sacrifice that you have made to be here.
Just as no one could have foreseen the pandemic, nobody knows what the future will bring yet. By God’s grace, we look to the future in hope, for as Saint Paul says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer”(Romans 12:12).
In affirmatio of our joint commitment to the Church of Christ, and most specifically to the Jerusalem Church, allow to present to you this engolpion of the Theotokos, that you MAY be under her protection and that you MAY be a martyria of Christ’s love and of our Christian ministry here in the Holy Land.
Congratulations, and MAY the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ guide your steps in the work of His commandments.
The Amman Fraternal Familial Gathering of the Orthodox Primates and Delegates.
Dialogue and Unity
February 25-27/2020 – Amman-Jordan
On FEBRUARY 26, 2020, a meeting of Primates and representatives of Local Orthodox Churches was held in Amman, Jordan, with the primary view of unity and reconciliation within Holy Orthodoxy. The participants noted their understanding of the anguish of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem for the imminent danger of schism within our Orthodox Communion.
Participating in the meeting were delegations of: the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem led by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, the Russian Orthodox Church led by His Holiness Patriarch Cyril of Moscow and All Russia, the Serbian Orthodox Church led by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia, the Romanian Orthodox Church led by His Eminence Metropolitan Nifon of Targoviste, the Polish Orthodox Church led by His Eminence Archbishop Abel of Lublin and Chełm, and the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Rastislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
The participants expressed their gratitude to His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Hashemite Custodian of the Christian and Muslim Holy Places in the Holy Land and to the people of Jordan for facilitating the hosting of this gathering in their capital city, Amman, noting His Majesty’s outstanding work in promoting interfaith dialogue internationally.
The participants also thanked the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos for all the relentless efforts aimed at paving the way for dialogue and bringing brothers together in the precious spirit of unity, noting that the light that emanates from Jerusalem stands as a witness to that Holy City which continuously proclaims its multi-faith and multicultural tapestry rejoicing in its existence as the warm home for the three Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
The delegations declared that this gathering was to strengthen the fraternal bonds between brothers and their churches, to promote the bonds of peace in Christ among them, to advocate for the unity of the Orthodox churches, and to renew dialogue in the prayerful hope of bringing reconciliation where there has been discord.
In the atmosphere of fraternal love, those gathered for the meeting agreed that decisions concerning issues of Orthodox-wide importance, including the granting of autocephaly to particular Churches, should be finalised in a spirit of pan-Orthodox dialogue and unity, and with pan-Orthodox consensus.
Concerning the current ecclesiastical situation in the Ukraine the participants also recognised that a pan-Orthodox dialogue is necessary for healing and reconciliation.
In the matter concerning North Macedonia, the delegations stated that this matter is to be solved through dialogue within the Serbian Orthodox Church and with pan-Orthodox support.
Regarding Montenegro, the participating delegations urged the relevant authorities to respect and uphold the fundamental right of ownership of property including that of the Church.
The delegations agreed that they should gather as brothers, preferably before the end of this year, to strengthen the bonds of fellowship through prayer and dialogue. The participants hope that His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew with his known seniority of honour (πρεσβεία τιμήs) will join this dialogue along with his brother Primates.
The delegations embraced the call of their brother Patriarch Theophilos III to hold a prayer for the world, for an end to war, sickness and suffering, and for all the Christians as well as for the unity of the Orthodox Church. This prayer is to be held in the Mother Church, the Church of the Resurrection (Holy Sepulchre) in Jerusalem, before the Holy Tomb of Christ, from which He rose and proclaims peace to the world.
ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΟΙ ΠΡΟΚΑΘΗΜΕΝΟΙ & ΑΠΕΣΤΑΛΜΕΝΟΙ ΕΓΕΝΟΝΤΟ ΔΕΚΤΟΙ ΕΙΣ ΙΟΡΔΑΝΙΑΝ ΔΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΕΝ ΑΜΜΑΝ ΑΔΕΛΦΙΚΗΝ ΣΥΝΑΝΤΗΣΙΝ ΔΙΑΛΟΓΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΕΝΟΤΗΤΟΣ
As we assemble here from around the Orthodox world in the spiritual territory of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in our beloved Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, we welcome you warmly to our home for this gathering of brothers and concelebrants in the Lord.
We are deeply mindful of the words of the Psalmist, who reminds us;
How very good and pleasant it is
when brethren live together in unity!
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
(Psalm 133 :1,3)
It is indeed good and pleasant for us to be here, so that we may enjoy the valuable privilege of fraternal dialogue, in which hearts may speak to hearts, and where we renew our commitment and fraternal bonds. With God’s help, tomorrow our work begins.
As we are blessed with this time together, in addition to welcoming all of you, we wish to acknowledge His Majesty King Abdullah II, the Hashemite custodian of the Muslim and Christian Holy Places in the Holy Land, under whose gracious auspices and with whose encouragement this fraternal gathering is taking place.
Allow us to raise our cup and propose a warm toast to His Majesty and the Hashemite family.
Once again, we thank you, and you’re most welcome. We wish you a pleasant stay here in our home, and we are looking forward to our fraternal work.”
Ἐκ τῆς Ἀρχιγραμματείας
H ΕΠΙΣΚΕΨΙΣ ΤΗΣ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΟΥ ΤΗΣ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΑΣ ΕΙΣ ΤΟ ΠΑΤΡΙΑΡΧΕΙΟΝ
It is an honour to receive you today at Our Patriarchate, the Mother of all Churches, here in the Holy City of Jerusalem. It was from here where the Good News spread to every nation, including the great country of Georgia.
Our Patriarchate represents the entire Christian Community in the Holy Land, “gathered like chicks under her wing” (Luke 13:34), comprising both local Christians as well as millions of pilgrims from around the world who come to Jerusalem for spiritual refreshment.
Since the very inception of the Church, the presence of Our Patriarchate has remained unbreakable. In fact, it is the only institution in the Holy Land to have survived throughout the ages without interruption. This is not by accident. It is precisely due to the commitment of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre to Our spiritual mission that not only our Christian presence and sacred heritage has thrived, but also Jerusalem has been able to maintain her unique multi-cultural and multi-religious character. For a significant period, Jerusalem even served as a cultural and spiritual centre for Georgia. The Patriarchate is heartened by the fact that it facilitates so many various groups of people who come to seek proximity with the Divine.
Although the role of the Patriarchate is spiritual, fortunately We have not been limited by this in Our contribution to discourse across diplomatic and governmental spheres. In the wake of recent political challenges, the integrity of Our Patriarchate has served as a powerful testament to the benefits of nurturing mutual-understanding, acknowledging common life, and advocating for peace and reconciliation among all people. To this effect, We continue to be protected and even embraced by the local governments, i.e. Israel, the Palestinian State, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and of course supported by the major religious communities – Christian, Muslim, and Jewish as well.
Such support is critical to the vitality of the Patriarchate’s continued mission and work as the protector of physical and spiritual Christian heritage. After all, We do not represent ourselves here, but all of you – our Orthodox brothers and sisters – many of whom reside under the auspices of your leadership.
Mrs. President, again We extend Our warm welcome to you and your delegation, and We pray that your visit to Jerusalem be blessed and fruitful, and that the Divine Grace of the holy places sanctified by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, remain with you and your countrymen.”
We greet you today with the hope and joy that this season carries, and which so many of our brothers and sisters from around the world associate with this Holy City.
Indeed, Jerusalem is sought by all who “long for flowing streams” (Ps. 42:1) of spiritual refreshment. It is a place of renewal, where every soul seeking proximity to God can find Him through veneration of the holy places and contemplations of the heart. The vibrant mosaic of our common life here is a testament to this dynamic.
It is for this reason that the Churches, who represent the Christian Community of the Holy Land and more specifically of the Holy City of Jerusalem, continue to promote this common life, and remain steadfast in their ages-old mission to maintain the dignity of the holy places as places of worship for all people, and tend to the needs of our local Christian community, the community at large, and the several million pilgrims who visit Jerusalem each year.
This mission is well known by all who live here as an integral function to the well-being of this Holy City. Therefore, the ab antiquo rights of the Churches must be respected and continue to be taken into consideration. In the wake of challenges which we have faced in recent years, we are confident that the voices of the few who seek to destroy Jerusalem’s multi-religious and multi-cultural character have no place moving forward.
We are also confident in your conviction, Mr. MAYOR, toward the preservation of Jerusalem’s unique character, as well as to the millions of people for which this Holy City is a light beckoning them toward peace and reconciliation, both here and beyond.
We pray that in this New Year 2020, through our respective religious and civic responsibilities, our common dedication to this Holy City of Jerusalem will lead us further down the path of mutual understanding and a peaceful, flourishing, co-existence. We also pray that 2020 be a year of blessings, peace, and prosperity for you, your families, and all people who call Jerusalem home, both physically and spiritually.