6th of September 2016


Your Royal Highness,

Your Holiness,

Your Beatitudes,

Your Eminences,

Your Graces,

Distinguished Delegates to this Assembly, Sisters and Brothers,


As we gather for this luncheon, we experience the truth of the words of the Psalmist:

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

(Ps.132 <133>: 1)

It is our honor and pleasure to welcome you to this blessed gathering here in Amman, which is a crossroads of the historic religious cultures that have formed and nurtured our common home in the Middle East for millennia. Here the monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as others, have dwelt together for so long.


We wish to welcome especially to this luncheon His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi. We thank you, Your Highness, for all that you have done and continue to do, in the crucial work of dialogue and reconciliation, and your presence with us is a tangible reminder that we are not alone.

It is also for us a special privilege to be in the midst of such highly respected Church leaders, as well as consummate diplomats.

We are thankful to Almighty God that in the midst of the turmoil that rocks our region we have managed to gather here to send a message to the world that we are determined to remain and to flourish in the land of our forebears. They established the foundations of our present civilization, and articulated and lived its values, and we are an affirmation of the undeniable reality of Ex Oriente Lux – that the Light comes from the East to a world wrapped in darkness and despair.

This gathering is a sign of hope that, even in the face of all the threats to our region and our peoples, there is the capacity to restore peace, co-existence and Justice among our various ethnic and religious communities. The monstrous inhumanity that we see every day has helped us to see once again what we are always trying to tell the world, that we all share a common humanity and a common destiny. And we know that we are not the masters of history or creation, but rather servants.

With this reflection we would like to propose a toast to the success of our Assembly. We pray fervently to our Lord to enlighten our minds, so that we may walk in the steps of His commandments that lead to life.

Thank you.


His Beatitude


Patriarch of Jerusalem