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His Beatitude Theophilos’ III, Speech Before The President Of Israel For The New Year 2011

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2010/12/29/1093/#more-1093 His Beatitude Theophilos’ III, Speech Before The President Of Israel For The New Year 2011
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2011

      His Beatitude Theophilos’ III, Speech Before The
      President Of Israel For The New Year 2011


      Mr President,

      Honourable Ministers,

      Members of Parliament,

      Distinguished Guests,

      “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a
      sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the
      womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt
      call his name Emmanuel”. (Isaiah 7:14)

      We are highly appreciative of what is a
      traditional gathering in which we share the
      Season’s cheerfulness, in particular the
      Christmas spirit, and impart our messages of
      hope.Events and gatherings such as this are of
      great significance both for celebrating the
      common bonds of our humanity, and for reminding
      ourselves of those fundamental moral values that
      are essential to our common life. Humanity today
      is confronted and confused on every side with
      dark forces of disrespect and even humiliation.
      And unfortunately much of this is being done in
      the pretence of religious allegiance and in the name of Almighty God.

      As we are here today in a clear expression and
      manifestation of inter-religious and
      inter-cultural understanding, presence and
      symbiosis, it should be acknowledged that any
      form of polarization; political, social or
      ideological, have increasingly posed a serious
      challenge to our humble efforts and our sincere intentions.

      We are thankful to the Authorities’ efforts in
      facilitating the access for pilgrims and
      worshipers that has enhanced a great number of
      Christian pilgrims from around the world. We
      commend them to continue this holy and important
      provision; and allow us to say: “more can always
      be done” on the local and regional frame. Also we
      acknowledge the many positive steps that the
      State of Israel has taken to evaluate our
      concerns, and we stress the need for the continuation of progress on:

      * Continued free movement of the faithful;
      * Availability of entry visas for clerics; and
      * Honouring the privileges of Tax exemption
      sanctioned by the sacred history as well as by
      the historic standing of the “Ownership of Church Property”.

      The ineffective endeavours to attaining peace
      should not be disregarded this festive season.
      This should be a reminder amidst our joyful
      celebrations that God’s will is loud and clear
      for both the political and religious leadership
      to persevere in our commitment to reaching reconciliation and peace.

      It is our mission, as servants of the Lord and
      thus of our fellow man, to relentlessly enhance
      our efforts for improving the living and
      socio-economic conditions in which people of the
      Holy Land are passing through and to alleviating
      the suffering of all affected. We are confronted
      with challenges and raised concerns for our
      communities over peaceful coexistence and we feel
      the urgency to address this, diffuse it and
      channel the positive outcome to achieving peace.

      We are cautious about the rising negative
      sentiments fuelled by extremists and appeal for
      the fact that we consider all humans as equal to
      one another. A perception substantiated in the
      monotheistic faiths and upheld by the many decent
      citizens who also feel threatened by the moral decline witnessed today.

      Christian institutions and Leadership, in the
      Holy land, have committed themselves by employing
      their blessings and resources in constituting
      peace and reconciliation in the region; for we
      firmly believe that this enjoins one of the
      divine commandments of our faith which solidifies
      our existence and determines our mission.

      Our fraternal noble wishes for this happy
      occasion on the New Year to all Jews, Christians
      and Muslims, who persistently pursued peace
      during times of great turmoil, as they set a role
      model for all those who are inspired by the true
      and historic prophetic message of the incarnation of the divine logos.

      As the custodians and servants of the Holy Places
      that bare testimony to the sacred history of
      redemption and salvation of human kind, we time
      and again commit ourselves to promoting peace and
      invite every human being to “soul searching”; in
      order to recognize the other’s entitlement to
      peace, respect and dignity; and we should always
      remember to behave in the same way as we would
      like people to behave towards us. For it is
      written: “… whatever you want man to do to you do
      also to them for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12)

      Your Excellency, we express our sincere thanks to
      you for this cordial invitation and for your
      gracious hospitality. We pray God for his special
      blessing upon the approaching New Year: may the
      Divine spirit of this Festive Season warm our
      hearts, enlighten our minds, and fulfil the lives
      of all the citizens of the State of Israel. Happy New Year and Hanoucha Samech.

      For, as prophet Isaiah says: “…. unto us a Child
      is born, unto us a Son is given; and the
      government will be upon His shoulder. His name
      will be called the Angel of Great Counsel, for I
      shall bring peace upon the rulers, peace and
      health by Him. Great shall be His government, and
      of Hispeace there is no end….” (Isaiah 9:6&7).

      His Beatitude
      Theophilos III
      Patriarch of Jerusalem
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