PILGRIMS FROM GREECE ON HOLY SATURDAY
As per the arrangement made between the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Israeli Police, pilgrims visiting from Greece arrived at 4:00 am in the morning of the Holy Saturday, the 6th/19th of April 2014. Those wishing to receive Communion proceeded to the Church of Sts Theodores, St Panteleimon and Our Lady Seyda Naya; those residing outside the walls arrived at 6:00 am at the New Gate.
Subsequently, all pilgrims, guided by the Police, proceeded to the Central Monastery of Sts Constantine and Helen in order to reach the Church of the Resurrection by means of the stairs of the Church of St James the Brother of God, in order to participate in the Holy Light ceremony.
From the rooftop of St Constantine, the Police allowed a number of pilgrims to descend to the Church. Nevertheless, as many as 400 pilgrims were left waiting in the sun for a long time, and were not allowed to proceed to the Church, in spite of the fact that there was still room in the Holy Golgotha and outside the Holy Bema of the Katholikon, and despite the appeal of the Elder Secretary-General, Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, to the Director of the Police.
As per information received by pilgrims, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem recognizes an improvement in the treatment of pilgrims by the Police and for this it extends its thanks. However, it would also like to protest to the Israeli Police for not completely delivering their promise, namely to allow all Greek pilgrims to descend from the rooftop of St Constantine to the Church of the Resurrection.
From the Secretariat-General