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ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM

The website of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem announces to its readers that H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos will be in Qatar from Thursday 8th/21st to Sunday 11th/24th February 2019. His Beatitude will officiate the consecration of the Holy Church of St. Isaac the Syriac on Friday 9th/22nd February 2019.

Details on the event will be posted in due course.

From Secretariat-General




ANNOUNCEMENT

As we approach the Christmas festivities, the Patriarchate announces to its Priests, Care takers and congregation throughout its jurisdiction that there has been no change in the festal cycle according to the Julian calendar which we follow.

Therefore, on December 12/25, 2018, the Patriarchate does not celebrate Christmas, but the commemoration of St. Spyridon, the wonderworker, Bishop of Trimythounta, and on this day, the members of the flock are able to socially congratulate the members of the other Christian denominations who celebrate the Christmas Feast on this day, according to the Gregorian Western calendar.

From Secretariat-General

 




NEW VIOLATION OF THE HOLY ZION CHAPEL

On Mid-Pentecost Wednesday, April 19/May 2, 2018, radical fanatics from the Yesiva Synagogue by David’s Tomb violated the railing and wire mesh of the chapel-catacomb at the outdoor area of the Holy Monastery of the Holy Trinity and the Priest School of Zion of the Patriarchate, and entered illegally, refusing to leave.

The transgressors were removed from the premises by the Israeli Police of Jerusalem with great difficulty, due to their strong resistance.

The Patriarchate protests strongly against this new violation of this sacred place and is determined to exercise all rightful legal action against the transgressors.

From Secretariat-General

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THE RE-OPENING OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was closed for all the pilgrims and visitors after the Liturgy of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, February 12/25, 2018 with the common decision of the Three Major Communities – Greek Orthodox, Franciscans and Armenians – in protest of the recent illegitimate tax measures imposed by the Jerusalem Municipality on the Churches of the Holy Land, as well as in protest against the proposed “Bill of Church lands”. 

On Tuesday evening February 14/27, 2018, the Prime Minister of Israel Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu made the statement posted in the link below;

http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2018/02/27/38319

According to this statement, all actions from the municipality regarding the collection of taxes as well as all legislative activity on Church properties was suspended, including the  “Bill of Church lands” proposed to the Knesset by Member of Knesset Rachel Azaria. There was also a decision to establish a professional team led by Minister Tzachi Hanegbi with the cooperation of the representatives of the Churches in order to solve the current crisis.

The Three Major Communities saw the action of Prime Minister Netanyahu, as constructive  and agreed on the re-opening of the Gate of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at 4.00 a.m. on Wednesday February 15/28, 2018.

From Secretariat-General

 

 




STATEMENTS BY THE HEADS OF CHURCHES AND THE ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER ON THE RE-OPENING OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE

27 February 2018

We, the heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulcher and the Status Quo governing the various Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate – give thanks to God for the statement released earlier today by Prime Minister Netanyahu and offer our gratitude to all those who have worked tirelessly to uphold the Christian presence in Jerusalem and to defend the Status Quo.

After the constructive intervention of the Prime Minister, The Churches look forward to engage with Minister Hanegbi, and with all those who love Jerusalem to ensure that Our Holy City, where our Christian presence continues to face challenges, remains a place where the three Monotheistic faiths may live and thrive together.

Following these recent developments we hereby announce that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, that is the site of the crucifixion of Our Lord and also of His Resurrection, will be reopened to the pilgrims tomorrow, February 28th, 2018 at 4.00 AM

   THEOPHILOS III     Patriarch of Jerusalem

   FRANCESCO PATTON  Custos of the Holy Land

 NOURHAN MANOUGIAN Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem

The statement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu follows below as communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser:

PMO Statement 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat have agreed to establish a professional team led by Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, with the participation of all relevant parties, to formulate a solution for the issue of municipal taxes on properties owned by churches that are not houses of worship

As part of the discussion between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Jerusalem Municipality regarding churches’ municipal taxes, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Barkat have agreed that a professional team led by Minister Hanegbi, including representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and the Interior and the Jerusalem Municipality, will formulate a solution to the issue of municipal taxes (which do not apply to houses of worship). The team will negotiate with the representatives of the churches to resolve the issue.

As a result, the Jerusalem Municipality is suspending the collection actions it has taken in recent weeks.

In addition, following a request by the heads of the churches to enter negotiations regarding the sale of land in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu has asked Minister Hanegbi to examine the issue. While the Minister is doing so, all legislative activity on the matter will be suspended.

Israel is proud to be the only country in the Middle East where Christians and believers of all faiths have full freedom of religion and worship. Israel is home to a flourishing Christian community and welcomes its Christian friends from all over the world.

 

 




THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES OF JERUSALEM PROTEST AGAINST THE ILLEGITIMATE TAX MEASURES IMPOSED BY JERUSALEM MUNICIPALITY ON THEM

After the Divine Liturgy on Sunday of Orthodoxy, February 12/25, 2018, the Heads of the 3 Major Communities of the All-holy Church of the Resurrection – the Greek Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarchate, the Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land and the Armenian Jerusalem Patriarchate – protested strongly against the recent illegitimate tax measures imposed by Jerusalem Municipality on the Churches of the Holy Land and decided the indefinite closure of the Holy Sepulchre.

The protest, read by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos on behalf of the 3 Major Communities, is posted in the link below;

 http://www.jp-newsgate.net/en/2018/02/25/38248  

From Secretariat-General

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httpv://youtu.be/erQXQRQldLs

 




STATEMENT ON MUNICIPAL THREATS AND THE DISCRIMINATORY “CHURCH LANDS BILL”

25.02.2018

We, the Heads of Churches in charge of the Holy Sepulchre and the Status Quo governing the various Christian Holy Sites in Jerusalem – the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, the Custody of the Holy Land and the Armenian Patriarchate – are following with great concern the systematic campaign against the Churches and the Christian community in the Holy Land, in flagrant violation of the existing Status Quo.

Recently, this systematic and offensive campaign has reached an unprecedented level as the Jerusalem Municipality issued scandalous collection notices and orders of seizure of Church assets, properties and bank accounts for alleged debts of punitive municipal taxes. A step that is contrary to the historic position of the Churches within the Holy City of Jerusalem and their relationship with the civil authorities. These actions breach existing agreements and international obligations which guarantee the rights and the privileges of the Churches, in what seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem. The greatest victims in this are those impoverished families who will go without food and housing, as well as the children who will be unable to attend school.

The systematic campaign of abuse against Churches and Christians reaches now its peak as a discriminatory and racist bill that targets solely the properties of the Christian Community in the Holy Land is being promoted. This abhorrent bill is set to advance today in a meeting of a ministerial committee which if approved, would make the expropriation of the lands of Churches possible. This reminds us all of laws of a similar nature which were enacted against the Jews during dark periods in Europe.

This systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land severely violates the most basic, ab antique and sovereign rights, trampling on the delicate fabric of relations between the Christian Community and the authorities for decades.

Therefore, and recalling the statement of the Patriarchs and Heads of Local Churches in Jerusalem, dated 14 February, 2018 and their previous statement of September 2017, as a measure of protest, we decided to take this unprecedented step of closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Together with all Heads of Churches in the Holy Land we stand united, firm and resolute in protecting our rights and our properties.

May the Holy Spirit answer our prayers and bring a resolution to this historic Crisis in our Holy City.

THEOPHILOS III          Patriarch of Jerusalem          

FRANCESCO PATTON       Custos of the Holy Land

NOURHAN MANNOUGIAN    Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem

 

 




ANNOUNCEMENT

It is announced that the person know as Hierodeacon Agapios Hatzipavlis, who had been benefited by the Patriarchate,  left ungratefully, arbitrarily and with no reason related to his Hagiotaphite repentance. For this, he has been removed from the position of the Deacon and has been cut off from the Hagiotaphite Brotherhood.   

From Secretariat-General

 




THE H. MONASTERY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST IN THE JORDAN RIVER IS REOPENED

It is announced that the historic Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist in the Bethabara area, east of Jericho, on the west bank of the river Jordan will be reopened as an Orthodox Shrine of the Jerusalem Patriarchate from next Monday January 16/29, 2018.

According to the tradition of the Gospel and the Church, this area is thought to have been the exact baptism site of our Lord Jesus Christ by St. John the Forerunner and Baptist, as well as the crossing point of the river Jordan by the Israelites when they were led by Joshua and saved from their enemies. It is also believed that the cave where St. John the Baptist lived was preserved nearby during the first Christian years.

 The Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist has been at this site since the time of St. Helen’s construction works in the Holy Land (325-335 A.D.); the Saint is traditionally considered to be the owner of the Monastery.

 The Monastery was destroyed and reconstructed several times throughout the centuries. At present, the Holy Monastery of St. John the Baptist is under successful renovation by the Patriarchate.

Visiting times are 9.00 a.m. to 15.00 p.m. daily in winter and 9.00 a.m. to 16.00 p.m. in the summer.

Contact telephone no: 00972 543158798

The Caretaker of the Monastery, Archimandrite Bartholomew

 

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HIS BEATITUDE THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM A GUEST AT THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE MIDDLE EAST IN ATHENS

From Sunday 16th/29th to Tuesday 18th/31st October 2017, His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos participates as a guest at the “2nd Athens International Conference on Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in the Middle East” organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece. In this Conference, His Beatitude was escorted by Geronda Secretary-General Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, Archdeacon Mark and the Exarch in Athens Reverend Archimandrite Damianos.

Upon His Beatitude’s arrival at “Eleftherios Venizelos” Athens airport by El Al airways, He was welcomed by the Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Athens Archimandrite Damianos and the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece.

On Monday morning, 17th/29th October 2017, His Excellency the President of Greek Democracy Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos declared the opening of the Conference, welcoming the members of the Conference and underlining that the conflict among civilizations may be dealt with and surmounted in the blessed country of Greece, where the spiritual values of democracy and civilization were conceived and born.

Man is the epicentre of civilization, the carrier of the Values of the human rights.

The address of His Beatitude our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem in this Conference is displayed in the link below:

https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/2017/10/30/35549

From Secretariat-General