REMARKS AT THE INSTALLATION OF THE VERY REVEREND HOSAM NAOUM AS DEAN OF SAINT GEORGE’S CATHEDRAL IN JERUSALEM.
Holy City of Jerusalem, 17 May 2012.
Your Grace, Bishop Suheil,
Your Grace, Archbishop Fred,
Dear Father Hosam,
Sisters and Brothers,
Christ is risen!
We greet you in joy today as you celebrate the installation of Father Hosam as Dean of this Cathedral. This celebration opens a new chapter in your life, and we have known of Father Hosam’s ministry here for years as pastor of the Arab-speaking Anglican congregation at the Cathedral.
The Anglican Communion has a long and important relationship of particular significance. We remember with warmth the recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose commitment to closer relations with the Orthodox Church is well known, and whose support of the Christian communities of the Holy Land has been specially encouraging to us all.
As Orthodox and Anglicans in the Holy Land, we share many of the same challenges as well as many commitments. Most of all we share the commitment of ensuring the well-being and the security of the Christian presence in the Holy Land. Christianity is native to this region, and we regard the Holy Land as our home. And we understand that a vital, vibrant Christian presence is essential to the true nature of the Holy Land as a place of genuine religious, cultural and ethnic diversity and co=existence.
We know the place that Saint George’s Cathedral and Saint George’s College hold in the hearts of so many Anglicans around the world. You welcome many pilgrims here every year, and you are the gateway to a fresh relationship with the Holy Land for many faithful Anglicans. This is a crucial ministry, and we of the support that you receive from your fellow Anglicans around the world. The presence of Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is an eloquent expression of your world-wide influence and commitments.
As we celebrate your installation today, dear Father Hosam, we greet also your wife, Rafa, and your children Wadi, Laurice and Krista. We know the support that a priest’s family can provide.
This Cathedral bears a significant dedication, for in your patron Saint George we Orthodox and Anglicans share a great saint, whom we venerate with equal devotion, especially in the Holy Land, and his image adorns the lintels of so many of our Christian homes.
In token of our prayers for you, your family and your congregation here at the Cathedral, we would like to present to you this icon of Saint George, and we commit you to his prayers and protection.
May God bless you, Bishop Suheil, Archbishop Fred, Father Hosam, and the ministry of this Cathedral.
Patriarch of Jerusalem