A TEAM OF CHRISTIANS AND JEWS VISIT JERUSALEM PATRIARCHATE.
On Tuesday 14th / 27th of July 2010, His Beatitude Patriarch of
Jerusalem Theophilos III received at the Patriarchate Rabbi Dr. David
Rozen with a team of scientists of various disciplines, Christians and
Jews. The visit's purpose was to accomplish a constructive
discussion on religious, social, political, and other topics of the
region of the Middle East as well as other regions. Rabbi Dr. David
Rozen is well known amongst the Christian circles for his broad
knowledge, erudition and for his active participation in and
contribution to the dialogue between Judaism and Christianity as well as
between Orthodoxy and Judaism under the aegis of the Ecumenical
Rabbi Dr. David Rozen commended His Beatitude for His active
participation in the inter-religious dialogue, His pacifying role in the
Middle East peace process and for the time He has devoted to this.
During the discussion, His Beatitude explained to the members of the
visiting group the position and the efforts of the Patriarchate in the
Holy Land and the Holy Shrines, from the very beginning during the early
Christian times and also during the Byzantine times when the great
Churches were built, namely the Church of the Resurrection and the
Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem and the great historical
Monasteries of the desert.
«This period» His Beatitude clarified «ended with the surrender
of Jerusalem, in 638 AD, to the Muslim Caliph Omar Hatamb by the
Patriarch of Jerusalem Sophronios, who, at that time, assumed the role
of the Ethnarch. Upon the signed agreement at that time- Achtiname,
the relations were founded between the Patriarchate and Islam, during
the era of the Arab and Turkish rule».
« In accordance with this agreement, the Patriarchate protects the
shrines, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim. The Patriarchate has spiritual
wealth, that is to say its religious and cultural heritage, but also
tangible wealth such as residences and other land holdings for the
maintenance of its flock and for the support of its institutions».
«The relations between the Patriarchate and Judaism are both close
and deep in the context of the relationship between the two Testaments,
Old and New, but also the liturgical life of the Church. The prophecies
and the psalms are recited during the ceremonies of our Church along
with the Gospels and the Epistles of the New Testament and the
Replying to a pertinent question His Beatitude explained that the
Patriarchate, from its revenues and from the donations of charitable
Societies, Non Governmental Organizations and pious worshipers,
maintains and preserves the Holy Shrines, establishes and runs schools
and philanthropic foundations, and takes an active role in resolving
problems that arise due to the political tension.
With respect to the political problem of Jerusalem and the Middle East,
His Beatitude replied that the Patriarchate maintains that Jerusalem
should be an open city with free access for all followers of all
religions to their Holy Places. Furthermore, His Beatitude elaborated
that the Patriarchate, along with the other Churches, actively and
religiously participates in the advancement of the peace process.
«If the above is not achieved» stated His Beatitude, «that is,
the reciprocal mutual acceptance of both nations also on a religious
basis, then no political solution will be viable. The Patriarchate and
the other Christian Churches of the Holy Land contribute towards the
advancement of peace to prevail, mainly through the work of the Council
of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land. Due to this contribution,
the Patriarchate is visited by diplomats, representatives of states,
peace missions and political figures, such as the former President of
the USA, Mr. Jimmy Carter, a year ago».
«If no regard is paid to the religious parameters particular to
Jerusalem, then no political solution will either be achieved or founded
in a viable manner. The Patriarchate follows with commiseration the
consequences of the political tension and participates in the suffering
of its victims with prayer, dialogue and endeavours of peaceful
existence and with the propagation of a message of apology, love,
forgiveness, conciliation, and peace».
At the conclusion of this meeting, His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem
Theophilos III presented each one of the members of the aforementioned
group with the book by Mr. Votokopoulos on the illustrated manuscripts
of the Central Library of the Patriarchate.
Chief Secretary's Office.
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