His Beatitude Theophilos III

Patriarch of Jerusalem

28 June 2010

Distinguished guests,

I stand before you in the presence of Archbishop Sawa of Warsaw and Metropolitan of All Poland and H.E. Ambassador Ghazal, carrying greetings, messages and concerns from your brethren in humanity, the people of Jerusalem, the people of the holiest of all cities that can be remembered synonymous for political divinity.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem has its roots dating back 2000 years in the history of the Holy City, during which many wars, conquerors, natural disasters, scientific breakthroughs and literary masterpieces have been initiated or took place to change the course of the history of the Middle East and in some cases the entire world.

Our Patriarchate has had unique relations with the Orthodox Church of Warsaw for many years, especially since the Late Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophanis.  And this welcomed invitation for us to visit here with you is furthering these historic good ties and positive cooperative relationship between our church and the Church of Warsaw.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem is probably the longest running institution in the world and remains committed to keeping this status forever as well as witnessing peace in our City of Peace.  Our Patriarchate remains enthusiastic in it’s pursue of peace through local, interchurch and interfaith activities.  The role of a religious leadership in a city like Jerusalem or a part of the world like the Middle East isn’t necessarily typical.  Much of the work of religious and social duties that most religious leaders of the world are obligated to fulfill, in Jerusalem they must fulfill on the grass-root level to promote peace and to fill people’s hearts with hope for a stable future.

On the interchurch level, many activities and plans are executed with the aim of preserving the ever-dwindling Christian population of the Holy Land and perfecting the role of bridging between all parties concerned; having a vital interest in Jerusalem’s religious significance. Many of these efforts are channeled through the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land.  On the interfaith level, our historical position and international network of friends and supporters provide us with an asset to contribute to interfaith initiatives and peace efforts since we have been a witness to many decades of peace and stability in the Holy Lands.

Since peace and stability were possible and indeed real in the past, we see no logical reason for not achieving it today and sustaining it for the future.

We have supported and still support peace efforts by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and his government led by Prime Minister Dr. Salaam Fayyad.   We pray to almighty God that Justice, Peace and stability will be realised in the Holy Land, and the Palestinian people achieve their rightful National rights.