22 March 2017

“Your All- Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,

Your Paternity, Father Francesco,

Your Beatitude, Patriarch Nourhan,

Your Excellency, Archbishop Pierre Battista,

Your Excellency, Archbishop Lazzarotto, the Papal Nuncio,

Beloved Fellow Heads of the Churches of the Holy Land,

Your Excellency, the Prime Minister of Greece,

Respected Members of the Civic, Governmental, and Diplomatic Services,

Esteemed Professor Moropoulou and the Members of the Scientific Team,

Your Eminences,

Your Graces,

Dear Monastics,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


As we celebrate this historic occasion, we remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Gospel of St. Matthew:

Let your light so shine forth before others,

so that they may see you good works

and give glory to your Father in heaven.

(Matthew 5:16)

With the renovation and re-dedication of the Sacred Edicule, the world sees the light of the spiritual identity of Jerusalem, a light that is itself a reflection of the Uncreated Light that shines from the Holy Tomb.

It is a great honour for the Church of Jerusalem to host this historic event, and to welcome guests from our City, our region, and around the world. Together with our Brothers in Christ, His Paternity Father Francesco and His Beatitude Patriarch Nourhan, along with His Excellency Archbishop Pierre Battista, we are witness to this day, which is a special day not only for us, but for Jerusalem and the communities that make up the unique and extraordinary multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious landscape of the Holy Land.

We hope and pray that the restoration of the Sacred Edicule will be an encouragement to restore the hope and peace of our mutual respect and co-existence. By showing that the Sacred Edicule can be shared harmoniously by all, we are a witness that Jerusalem also can be shared harmoniously by Jews, Christians, Muslims and all people of good will.

Allow us to welcome His Excellency the Prime Minister of Greece, who will give a few remarks. And now allow us to introduce Professor Moropoulou, who will make a presentation (see link:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/8wqg61ilqozkg6e/09_2_Completion_Presentation_March_2017_EN.pdf?dl=0   )

Finally, allow us to repeat here on behalf of all of us our profound gratitude and appreciation for all who by the generous gift of their financial support, expertise, and prayers, have made the impossible possible, in the restoration of the Sacred Edicule.

And now to God who is able to strengthen us

according to the Gospel

and the proclamation of Jesus Christ

to the only wise God,

through Jesus Christ

be glory forever.

(Romans 16:25,27)

Thank you.”

From Secretariat-General