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H.B. THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM PERFORMS MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR THE LATE METROPOLITAN VOLODYMYR OF KIEV

On the morning of Monday, the 24th of June/7th of July 2014, His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, in the framework of a divine liturgy commemorating the birth of John the Baptist at the monastic church of Sts Constantine and Helen, performed a memorial service for the repose of the soul of Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kiev and All Ukraine, who passed away on Saturday the 22nd/5th of July 2014.

On the dormition of the late Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kiev, His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem sent the following letter of condolences to Patriarch Kyril of Russia, see link: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/2014/07/05/7922

as well as the following letter of condolences to Metropolitan Onuphrius of Chernovtsi and Bukovina,  locum tenens of Kiev and all Ukraine:

To the Most Reverend Locum Tenens, Metropolitan Onuphrius of Chernovtsi and Bukovina, our beloved brother in the Lord, co-officiating with Our Mediocrity.

With great sorrow we have been informed of the dormition of the grey-haired Prelate Volodymyr, the late Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, our dearest co-officiating brother.

Profoundly participating in the mourning of the pious flock shepherded for years by the departed, we earnestly pray to our immortal king, Christ, who holds power over the dead and the living, for the repose of his soul in the land of the righteous and for the consolation of Your Holiness personally and of the entire Christ-loving people of the Holy Bishopric of Kiev and all Ukraine.

In the Holy City of Jerusalem, 22 June 2014.

 

Beloved brother in Christ,

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem

From the Secretariat-General

httpv://youtu.be/BPHy1IWMW6A




H.BEATITUDE’S CONDOLENCE MESSAGE TO PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW FOR THE DORMITION OF METROPOLITAN OF KIEV VOLODYMYR.

Holy City of Jerusalem, Saturday, July 5th, 2014

 

His Holiness Kyrill,

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia,

Moscow

The Russian Federation

 

Your Holiness, dear Brother and Concelebrant in the Lord,

We have learnt that His Eminence Volodymyr, Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, fell asleep in the Lord this morning. We knew that he had been suffering for a long time from debilitating illness, and he has always been in Our prayers. We remember his visits as a pilgrim to the Holy Land over the years, and We hold in special affection Our time with him when We were in Kyiv for the 1025th anniversary of 5the Baptism of the Rus’ last year.

Metropolitan Volodymyr was a bishop of deep devotion to his Church and his people, and a faithful pastor in challenging times. He lived his archpastoral calling with humility and prayerfulness, and was an inspiration to many younger monks, priests, and bishops. A leader of stature has passed from among us, and We know that his people will miss him very much.

May Metropolitan Volodymyr rest with all the saints, and may his memory be eternal.

With deep condolences and with fraternal love in Christ, We remain,

THEOPHILOS III

PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM

 

 

 




THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM CONDEMNS TERRORIST ACTS IN VOLGOGRAD

On Tuesday the 18th/31st of December 2013, His Beatitude Theophilos, our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, sent His Holiness Cyril, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, the following epistle:

Your Holiness Cyril, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, in Christ the Lord, dearest brother and co-officiator of Our Mediocrity. Brotherly embracing Your Holiness in Christ, we gladly address You.

Dwelling in the holy Jerusalem and the Horrendous Golgotha, and serving the Lord’s Life-giving Sepulcher, already gazing towards the holy Bethlehem in order to celebrate the feast of the Nativity in flesh of the Angel of the great will of God, the Lord of peace, in the plain Cavern and the Village of the Manger, it is with profound sorrow and sacred indignation that we learned of two atrocious terrorist attacks in Volgograd, South Russia, which caused the death of three hundred peaceful citizens, our innocent fellow humans, and severe or deathly injuries of tenths of others.

We categorically and irrevocably condemn these criminal and atrocious acts, and extend our profound condolences to Your Holiness and the relatives of the victims, while praying for the repose of the souls of those murdered, and the speedy recovery of those injured.

Upon this we embrace Your erudite Holiness from the Holly and Divine Cavern where Christ was miraculously born of the Virgin.

 

In the Holy City of Bethlehem, 18 December 2013.

Of your Embraced Holiness

Your Dearest Brother in Christ

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem

In the letter, the Patriarch condemns the terrorist attacks which took place in the city of Volgograd, Russia, extending condolences to the innocent victims.

 

On the same day, His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem sent the following epistle to His Excellency the President of the Russian Republic, Mr Vladimir Putin, similarly condemning these atrocious acts and extending condolences to the innocent victims:

Your Excellency,

Dwelling in Jerusalem and already gazing towards Bethlehem for the feast of the Nativity in flesh of the Angel of the great will of God, the Lord of peace, we learned with profound sorrow and sacred indignation of the terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Volgograd, South Russia, aimed at obstructing the organization of the Winter Olympic Games.

Extending our profound condolences to Your Honoured Excellency and the relatives of the innocent victims, we pray from the All-holy and Life-giving Sepulcher that the souls of our three hundred murdered fellow humans rest in peace, that the tenths of injured at these atrocious and condemnable crimes recover speedily, and that the citizens of the pious country of Russia be protected from acts of people who hate peace and have no respect for the value of human life.

Upon this, we beseech for Your Excellency the grace and protection of the All-holy and Life-giving Sepulcher towards the unhindered performance of Your lofty government services.

In the Holy City of Bethlehem, 18 December 2013.

For Your Honoured Excellency

Fervently praying to the Lord

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem

 

On the 20th of December 2013/2nd of January 2014, His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem sent an epistle condemning the aforementioned acts and reassuring for the victims, to the Most Reverend Metropolitan of the city of Volgograd, as follows:

The Most Reverend Metropolitan German of Volgograd and Kamyshin, our brother in Christ and co-officiator of Our Mediocrity, we embrace in Christ the Lord.

Dwelling in Jerusalem and gazing towards the holy Bethlehem, which is by no means least among the rulers of Judah, in order to celebrate the Metropolis of all feasts in the sacred and divine Cavern and the village of the Manger, where the Lord of peace, our Lord Jesus Christ, was born, it is with profound sorrow and sacred indignation that we learned of the two recent terrorist attacks against the Metropolis of your most dear and erudite Reverence, claimed the lives of three hundred innocent human beings, its spiritual children, and severely wounded tenths of others among them.

We categorically condemn these atrocious acts, and extend our deep condolences to the innocent victims, praying that those murdered rest in peace in the country of the living with the saints and the righteous, and that those unjustly and severely wounded recover speedily.

We embrace your Reverence from the All-holy and Divine Cavern where Christ was miraculously born of the Virgin.

In the Holy City of Bethlehem, 20 December 2013.

Your Dear Brother in Christ

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem

From the Secretariat-General




MESSAGE OF HIS HOLIEST BEATITUDE, THEOPHILOS III, PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM, CHRISTMAS 2013

Behold the Virgin, begetting God in flesh,

in the city of Bethlehem, inside the Cavern,

the entire universe has been enriched,

rejoice and dance,

associate with servants

–          for the Lord has come near everyone.

 (Matins Oikos 20, December)

The one, holy, catholic and apostolic Orthodox Church of Christ, across the world, celebrates today a miraculous and sublime event which transcends every human intellect and concept.

It celebrates the event of the birth in flesh of the Son and Word of God, our Saviour, Jesus Christ, incarnate and made man from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.

This event, God the Father had wanted since centuries ago and for it He had prepared men through His holy prophets and “the Law as guardian” (Gal. 3, 24) in His Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit.

“But when the fullness of time had come” (Gal.4, 4) during the reign of Caesar Octavius Augustus, he revealed so in this very city, Bethlehem, “which is by no means least among the rulers of Judah”(Matt. 2, 6), and in this plain cavern.

Here, in this land, God the Father had deigned that His hitherto fleshless and timeless Son be born in flesh and appear in time. Here came the Magi from the East, led by a bright star, and saw an infant in the arms of the Virgin and worshipped Him, offering Him their presents of ‘gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matt. 2, 11). The Shepherds worshipped Him too, those living in the fields near the town of the Shepherds. Here too the angelic hymn of peace was heard from the heavens: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests” (Luke 2, 14).

And this happened because God, who had made man, never ceased to love and seek him, even when man was distant from Him. God sought man in his complex, endless and pointless philosophical quests, and in his sinful and pernicious achievements, but He did not decline him; instead, according to the god-bearing saint Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, “He appropriated humanity and, without confusion, incorporated flesh and received man” (On the Right Faith, PG 76, 1181D) during the mission in the world and the incarnation of His Son.

Willingly executing the will of His Father, Christ, “though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich” (II Cor. 8,9). Being a citizen on the earth and associating with men as Theanthropos, God-Man, perfect God and perfect man, he benefited them in many different ways. He offered charity to the needy and the poor. He incorporated our human nature and elevated it to the heavens through the Cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension.

The Church, His holy body, through the effusion of the Holy Spirit, carries on His sanctifying and philanthropic work on earth. Through the centuries, the Church has been endlessly consecrating its members, cultivating, humanizing and adorning the customs of men, supporting the sacred institution of family, feeding the poor; today it sustains in deed the victims of the financial crisis and invites humanity to resolution and reconciliation, peace and justice, philanthropy, love and benefaction.

Even more so, the Church of Jerusalem, the first to evangelize the birth of Christ, prays from this Cavern and this Constantinian Basilica, of which it has proved a faithful guardian through the centuries, for peace and goodness in the entire world, for the end of acts of violence in the Middle East and elsewhere, for the cessation of terrorist activities, for respect of religious freedom and worship, for the liberation of the abducted hierarchs and nuns of the sister Church of Antioch and for the reconciliation and unification of all.

In the Holy City of Bethlehem, CHRISTMAS 2013.

Fervently praying to the Lord,

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem




SECOND OFFICIAL RESPONSE OF HIS BEATITUDE PATRIARCH THEOPHILOS III OF JERUSALEM TO HIS BEATITUDE JOHN X OF ANTIOCH CONCERNING THE JURISDICTION OF THE EMIRATE OF QATAR

Translated by Theodoros Pritsis, M.Div., Th.M.

 

Reference No.

1020

 

Your Beatitude, Most Eminent Patriarch John of the Great City of God, Antioch and all the East, Our most beloved brother and concelebrant of Our Humility in Christ our God. We embrace Your Most Beloved Beatitude in the Lord and We greet You with exceeding joy.

We have recently received Your Beatitude’s letter (Reference No. 396/2013) dated October 19th, 2013, which conveys to Us the opinion of Your most Holy and Sacred Synod regarding Us and the decision of Our Holy and Sacred Synod to elect and ordain Archbishop Makarios of Qatar. We have read your letter with great attention, together with Our Holy and Sacred Synod, and have studied it closely.

We gladly bring forth Our best possible response, and on behalf of the Holy and Sacred Synod, first desire to inform You that We deeply share in the difficulties, adversities and trials of the sister Church of Antioch and of the Syrian people, which we have shown through our long cooperation with Your predecessor, the ever-memorable Patriarch Ignatios of Antioch, in the meetings of the Primates of the Senior Patriarchates of the Middle East in Jordan and Cyprus, and their visit to the European Union. We have also shown Our active support for the displaced Syrian people and our brethren in the Zaatar refugee camp in Jordan, and by condemning the abduction of the two hierarchs, Your consanguineous brother Metropolitan Paul of Aleppo and Alexandretta and hierarch of the Syriac-Jacobite Church, Metropolitan Grigorios of Aleppo.

The issue at hand, which should not have been an issue to begin with, is that the sister Church of Antioch has an underlying problem with the election and ordination of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Qatar. We have extensively explained the reasons for the canonical presence and pastoral activity of our Patriarchate in the Emirate of Qatar in Our response letter to You (reference no. 213) dated March 19th, 2013. So allow Us not to repeat to You the same explanation in this present letter.

In this present letter of response it is enough for Us to even acknowledge the concern raised by the Church of Antioch at the expense of the Church of Jerusalem. We never went and protested to any other sister Orthodox Church, but responded to the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, sending Our own delegation, which met with both Your delegation and that of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece.

In this meeting, which was under the auspices of the then Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Mr. Kostas Tsiaras, and the Director of the Department of Ecclesiastical and Religious Affairs, Mr. Charalambos Manessis, statements and comparisons were presented by both the Patriarchate of Antioch and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem regarding the canonical jurisdiction of the Emirate of Qatar, and no agreement was reached by anyone concerning the issue. The delegation of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem suggested that a committee of Canon Law professors be assembled, which would study the entire issue and decide.

We now suggest dialogue so this issue can be resolved. However, in the instance that Your Beatitude does not accept dialogue, as You have told Us in Your recent letter, and reach a point where You do not recognize the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, We are very saddened because this act will not only break up the in-Christ communion and unity of Our two neighboring sister Churches, but also the entire Orthodox Church. Nevertheless, in such a possible deplorable situation, We will not cease in praying for the sister Church of Antioch and will continue to observe the communion of Christ-like love.

Awaiting Your positive response to the formation of a committee for the study of the entire issue, We send Our embrace in-Christ from the All-Holy and Life-Giving Tomb, We remain,

 

 

In the Holy City of Jerusalem, the 11th of October 2013

To Your Honored Beatitude

Beloved Brother in the Lord,

 

THEOPHILOS III

        PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM




CONDOLENCES NOTE OF THE PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM ON THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT GLAFKOS CLERIDES

(Jerusalem, 17 November 2013).

Your Excellency,

With great sorrow, yet with equal sorrow in Christ who has vanquished death by the cross, we communicate through this Patriarchal Letter of Ours with Your esteemed and distinguished Excellency in order to offer our condolences to You and Your respectable government as well as to the entire afflicted people of Cyprus, on the demise of the former President of the Republic of Cyprus, the ever-memorable Glafkos Clerides.

The former President, who departed full of days, is recognized the world over as a fighting Greek Cypriot patriot, a skilled and perceptive political leader, the man who initiated the accession of the Republic of Cyprus into the European Union, uncompromisingly working for its reunion, and offering in deed his support to our long spoken of Patriarch of Jerusalem.

We share the grief of the people of Cyprus on the death of this esteemed and popular President, praying from the All-Holy and Life-Giving Sepulcher that God our Lord rest his soul in the land of the living, and that Your Excellency be enhanced to successfully complete Your struggle towards a just resolution of the political problem facing the martyric Great Island of Cyprus.

In the Holy City of Jerusalem, the 17th of November.

Of Your Honoured Excellency,

Fervently Praying to the Lord,

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem

 




PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM CONGRATULATES ARCHBISHOP OF CYPRUS

By His letter, number 802 and dated 7th/20th of September, His Beatitude Theophilos, Our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem, congratulates His Eminence Chrysostomos, Archbishop of Cyprus, on his recent Synodic Encyclical (see link: http://www.churchofcyprus.org.cy/article.php?articleID=3550 ) which was read out in Churches during the divine Liturgy of Sunday 15th September 2013, upon the start of the new school year 2013-4. Stressed in the Encyclical is the absolute need to preserve our Greek Orthodox identity and Greek language in order to maintain our creative and dignified life and presence in the process of history.

This is an excerpt from the letter of His Beatitude Theophilos:

[…] With great interest we watched on television the Synodic Encyclical of Your dearest and erudite Beatitude, read out in the holy churches of the Archbishopric of the Church of Cyprus, on the occasion of the beginning of the new school year 2013-4.

The Encyclical points out the danger of the attempted effort to replace, in the new syllabi of the Cyprus Ministry of Education, the lesson of Religious Education with Religiology; to emphasize the Cypriot idiom over the Greek language; to develop only the democratic attitude of students, and silence the values of our Christian Tradition, which preserve our Greek-Orthodox identity and hold our blessed nation in unbreakable cohesion and unity.

Warmly we congratulate Your Beatitude on this brave pastoral Ethnarchic Encyclical and wish You a wealth of support from above over many years to come, in order to complete the work of rebirth and renewal You have initiated in the Church of Cyprus, and to continue Your contribution to the just geographical unification of the suffering island of Cyprus, now divided by the Turkish occupation. […]

Your dear brother in Christ

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem




THE OFFICIAL RESPONSE OF HIS BEATITUDE THEOPHILOS III OF JERUSALEM TO HIS BEATITUDE JOHN X OF ANTIOCH CONCERNING THE CANONICAL JURISDICTION OF THE EMIRATE OF QATAR

Translation by Theodoros Pritsis, M.Div., Th.M.

Your Beatitude, Your Most Godly and Your Holiness, Patriarch of the Great God City of Antioch and all the East, in Christ our God, Most Beloved and Dearest Brother and Concelebrant of Our Humility, Mr. Mr. John. We embrace Your Most Beloved Reverenced Beatitude in the Lord and We greet You with exceeding joy.

Being at the doors of Holy and Great Lent, on the 6th of the month of March, We received the letter (Decision No. Ref. 7) of Your most beloved and profound Beatitude, in which it expresses the heartfelt wish through Our experience in prayer and humility the devout period of the fast and Our participation in the joy of the glorious Resurrection, and yet through favorable times toward an exchange of loving embrace and Our meeting of peace and the diligence of the topics concerning the Apostolic Thrones of Jerusalem and Antioch and mainly after the recent worthy election and enthronement ceremony, to which our Patriarchate beared the joy and honor of its participation.

We accept these blessings as an expression of sincere love of the soul of Your most beloved Beatitude, distinguished for many years in theological knowledge, ecclesiastical education and monastic life. We desire to offer to Your Beatitude, the appropriate clarifications for the main topic touched upon in Your Beatitude’s letter, such as the presence of our Patriarchate in Qatar, towards Your reassurance and Her dear to God shepherded sister Church of Antioch and Her preservation and strengthening from the beginning of Christianity full communion and cooperation between Our two Churches.

Firstly, we would like to mention that the Emirate of Qatar is an integral geographical continuation of Arabia, pastoral jurisdiction of our Patriarchate, as the set out points exhibit in continuation:

1)      From out of Our title: “Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Syria, Arabia, beyond the Jordan, Cana of Galilee and Holy Zion” distinctly exhibits that We are the Patriarch of all Palestine, in whom are included the three Palestines, as exhibited from the eighth Act of the Proceedings of the Fourth Ecumenical Council (see Ralli & Potli, “Constitution of the Divine and Holy Canons, vol. 2, Athens 1852, p. 131).

2)     From Our Title also exhibits, that We are the Patriarch of Syria, which shows the above regions of Porphyroupolis (present day Haifa), in other words the Metropolis of Ptolemais and the above region of Skythopolis, in other words the present-day mountains of Golea until the bases of Mount Ermon. This clearly exhibits to the interpretation of Theodore Balsamon to the 6th and 7th canons of the First Ecumenical Synod, where it is mentioned synoptically: “The Patriarch of Jerusalem has the eparchies of Palestine, Arabia and Phoenicia” (see, ibid., p. 129).

3)     From Our Title also exhibits, that We are the Patriarch of Arabia, which has already been mentioned in the above interpretation of Theodore Balsamon, but also from the fact that the Arabian peninsula is a natural continuity of the third Palestine. In confirming this, We quote the ancient published catalogue by Veverigios, in whom all the eparchies of the Patriarchates are mentioned, just as our Patriarchate of Jerusalem. For reasons of brevity, We omit here the Metropolises and Dioceses of the three Palestines and We mention the disputed point, such as in the Arabian eparchy of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which has as follows:

  1. Bostra, Metropolis – 2. Adrasos. – 3. Dia. – 4. Madaba. – 5. Gerasa. – 6. Nevi. – 7. Philadelphia. – 8. Esvous. – 9. Neapolis. – 10. Phillipoupolis. – 11. Fenoutos (Isos Fino). – 12. Constantina. – 13. Dionusias. –  14. Pentakomia. –  15. Trikomia. – 16. Kanothas. – 17. Salton. – 18. Vataneos or Kataneos. – 19. Eksakomia. – 20. Enneakomia. – 21. Komi Gonias. – 22. Komi Herous. – 23. Komi Stanes. – 24. Komi Xaveras (or Maxaveras). – 25. Komi Koreathis. – 26. Komi Vilvanous. – 27. Komi Kapron. – 28. Komi Pirgoareton. – 29. Komi Setnis. – 30. Komi Ariahon. – 31. Neotis. –  32. Klima Anatolikon and Dismon. – 33. Komi Ariathas Trahonos. – 34. Komi Vevdamous (see Ralli & Potli, “Constitution of the Divine and Holy Canons,” vol. 5, Athens 1852, p. 472).

The above list confirms and in the work of Deacon Gregory Palamas: “Jerusalem.” (see “Jerusalem, a concise history of the Holy City of Jerusalem from its foundation until the newer years” by Deacon Gregory Palamas, professor of History in the Theological School of the Patriarchal Throne of Jerusalem, in Jerusalem, out of the Printing Press of the All-Holy Tomb, 1862, pp. 376-382).

This same is confirmed and out of the report of Neilos Doxopatres: “On The Five Patriarchal Thrones”, which mentions the following: “And after these things he was honored the throne of Jerusalem, broken away of the parish and power of the Alexandrians, and become autocephalous, and head, and equal in rank to three thrones. Yet, declared itself after Antioch in honor of seating. And he was called Patriarch of Jerusalem, and verily previous bishop being of Caesarea and of Palestine. Palestine had Caesarea as its metropolis, in which includes Jerusalem, and Jerusalem became the diocese of Caesarea. It had other metropolises, having of them different dioceses, that is to say, second is Skythopolis, or Bashan, third is Petra, fourth is Bostra, or Arabia. It also has twenty-five autocephalous dioceses, not having dioceses within them, which are subject to the throne of Jerusalem; 1. Diospoleos 2. Askalon 3.Jaffa 4.Gaza 5. Anthidona 6. Dioklitinianoupolis 7. Eleftheroupolis 8. Neapolis 9. Sebasteia 10. Jordan 11. Tiberias 12. Diokaisareia 13. Maximianoupolis 14. Kapitoliada 15. Myra 16. Gadara 17. Nazareth 18. Mount Tabor 19. Kyriakoupolis 20. Adrias 21. Gavalades 22. Aelia 23. Farao (Pharoah) 24. Elenoupolis 25. Mount Sinai (see Ralli & Potli, “Constitution of the Divine and Holy Canons,” vol. 5, Athens 1852, p. 486-490).

Especially concerning Mount Sinai, with whom the relations of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem are not dissentious witnessed by the sources, which must be into consideration by everything written in the Synodical epistle of Patriarch Jeremiah II of Constantinople (1565) because of Synodical fortification of the privileges of the monastery: “…synodically meeting the Patriarch of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Alexandria, and the Patriarch of Antioch…and the Patriarch of Antioch has given two of his subjected metropolises which lie under his Throne, Caesarea of Palestine and Skythopolis, now detached from the metropolis Tyre of Porphyroupolis, and put on the boundary the river in between Ptolemais and Mount Carmel Zabulon in like manner four dioceses from the metropolis Bostra of Damascus, Cadiz, Kapitoliada, Avilla, and Gibeon, and dedicated those to Jerusalem, and a boundary was put until the country of Afsitis. The Patriarch of Alexandria has given as well metropolises that lie under His throne, Bostra of Arabia and Petra, and six dioceses, Gaza, Askalon, Eleftheroupolis, Faran, Ailia and Sinai. Particularly secure was the throne of Mount Sinai, in order that no one sits upon it, and make a jurisdiction until the Red Sea.

It is expressed in this text the confidence of Patriarch Jeremiah of Constantinople that the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem spreads out towards the side of Arabia.

Furthermore We quote Your Beatitude and an excerpt from Patriarch Dositheos of Jerusalem’s “12 Volumes” (“History of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem”), Second Book, Chapter 4, Paragraph 7: “Concerning the answers about the six oppositions against the patriarchal value of Jerusalem, and through many witnesses and the proof of appositions, that the ancient Patriarch of Jerusalem was also and is to be”: “Concerning the fifth one must mention that it is daring to say that the Patriarch of Jerusalem did not have, before the Council of Chalcedon, neither eparchy nor administration, because he had both. The Patriarch of Antioch and here the Patriarch Jerusalem to differ on some eparchies and concerning their administrations (in the first Synod according to Gelasius locum tenens were Jerusalem, Caesarea, Phoenicia and Arabia, so that the power of Jerusalem spreads and to Phoenicia and Arabia) and in the first Synod out of agreement of these partitioned Eparchies, the Synod confirmed their agreement. If the Patriarch of Jerusalem is to not first receive the eparchy or administration, and if indeed this was true, how did the Emperor, the Archons and the large Ecumenical Synod not disagree with the Patriarch of Jerusalem? Moreover in the extortionate Council of Ephesus, which took place before the Council of Chalcedon, Iouvenalios had the accustomed ranks, in other words he sided with the Patriarch of Alexandria, as shown in the first act of the Council in Chalcedon, wherefore Patriarch Tarasios in the Seventh Ecumenical Council called him (Iouvenalios) patriarch and that, according to his value, he become Exarch of the Synod, first act…” (see Dositheos Jerusalem, “Dodecabiblos”, According to the Jerusalem Patriarchs, vol. A &  B, ed. Rigopoulos, Thessaloniki 1982, pp. 324-325).

The jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem likewise exhibits and out of the address of Patriarch Neophytos VI of Constantinople (1734-1740 & 1743-1744) in his introductory letter (Decision Number 77), concerning: “Moravicans, the so-called God-protecting who came to the eastern church, as agreeing with us concerning the piety, composition to the Patriarchs to accept them as pious and orthodox.: In this letter the Patriarch of Constantinople addresses the Patriarchs as follows:

Your Beatitudes and Holinesses, the Pope and Patriarch of the Great City of Alexandria and all of Egypt, Mr. Mr. Kosmas (it is about Kosmas III 1737-1746), and the Patriarch of the Great God City of Antioch and all the East (the name of the Patriarch of Antioch is not noted here, at that time it was Sylvester 1724-1766), and the Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine and Syria and Arabia Mr. Mr. Parthenios (1737-1766), and their consisting holy metropolitans and their most graced bishops, the in Christ our God beloved fellow brothers and concelebrants the embrace in Christ (see Manuel Gedeon, “Canonical Provisions” vol. A, Constantinople. 1888, pp. 219-220).

It is true that out of the sources emerge some historical news tidings, through which declare relations of the Christians of the region of Arabia and especially of Yemen with Syria, but this relationship only cultivated in the circles of the Syro-Jacobites (Syriac Christians), the heretics, to which other jurisdictional criteria existed. However the consolidating canonical order of the Orthodox Church, the Patriarchate of Antioch did not have such pastoral responsibility in Arabia, but in the eastern eparchies, which is also expressed by Neilos Doxapatres (see below).

In the aforementioned references, stating its undoubted jurisdiction Our Patriarchate was not able to exercise pastoral work, due to the historical developments in this region, until where upon our days given to it the cause, which is exposed in order:

We submit to the command of the Holy and Great Synod, under the presidency of my late predecessor Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem, We went to Qatar during the feasts of Pascha 1997 and from then We have unceasingly served as an archimandrite the liturgical and pastoral needs of our flock in the specified region. The deceased Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem fulfilled there, during the month of November in the year 1999, a pastoral visit with an entourage of hierarchs and other clergy of our Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in which he was received by the flock and celebrated the service of agiasmos (sanctification of water) in the hall of the Sheraton Hotel, because there didn’t exist a church.

From Pascha in the year 2001, We were replaced temporarily, by the then Very Reverend Archimandrite Makarios, presently the Archbishop of Qatar (Kattaron), who canonically succeeded Us by Synodical decision in October 2004.

From that time our Patriarchate asked and received from His Majesty Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani an area of land, in which began similar sponsorships from him and from pious Christians, to erect a church of the Blessed Isaac who practiced asceticism in Qatar and the Great Martyr St. George the Trophy-Bearer, finishing day by day the Bishop’s quarters for the residence of the at that time representative of our Patriarchate, erected and was already inhabited.

This church is the liturgical and parish center of the Orthodox Christians found in Qatar, independent of any racial criterion, inasmuch that racial discrimination was condemned by the Synod of the Patriarchs – Primates of the Orthodox Church in the year 1872 (see History of the Greek Nation, ed. Publishing Athens, vol. M, 1977, Modern Greek, from 1833 until 1881, p. 305), in other words independent of their ethnicity, Palestinians, Jordanians, Syrians, Lebanese, Greeks, Cypriots, Russians, Serbians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Georgians, Africans and others.

We as Patriarch, with an entourage of hierarchs and other clergy of our Patriarchate, fulfilled from the 12th until the 17th of April 2010, in like manner formal pastoral visit to Qatar, in which We met with members of our flock, and later with His Majesty Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who had sent a representative to Our Enthronement, and later to other formal factors of the state of Qatar. After the end of the Patriarchal Concelebration, We laid the foundational stone from the erection of the holy Church of the Blessed Isaac the Syrian who practiced asceticism in Qatar and the Great Martyr St. George the Trophy-Bearer.

This pastoral concern of our Patriarchate opened the road and through the other Christian confessions, which received, following our example, the approval of an area of land from the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, -may his years be many and God-fruitful, and each of them erected a church in favor of their Christian flocks in Qatar. Enduring these aforementioned actions of our Patriarchate, no presence of the Patriarchate of Antioch has existed there and no protest from it has been heard.

Likewise in brotherly love We remind Your Most Beloved Beatitude, that Your Metropolis of Baghdad does not include the Arabian Gulf, but is limited to the limits of the present state of Iraq, as exhibited of the essay of Neilos Doxapatres: “The Patriarch of Antioch holds all of Asia, and the East, and India, where until the present day, catholic who ordained catholics, sends the so-called Romogyreos, and Persia. Now and this Babylon, the now-called Bagda; and from there the Patriarch of Antioch was sending a katholikon to Eirinoupolis, the so-called Eirinoupoleos and the Armenians, and Avasgian, and Ivirian, and Midian, and the Chaldeans, and Parthian, and Elamites, and Mesopotamia” (see Ralli & Potli, “Constitution of the Divine and Holy Canons. vol. 5, Athens 1852, p. 488).

From this clearly exhibits that no mention exists for the Patriarchate of Antioch in the present day Arabian Gulf and the present day Arabian Peninsula. The title of Metropolitan Mr. Constantine has always been known as Metropolitan of Baghdad only. He received this title at his ordination, and as his predecessor the memorable Photios Khoury, who likewise was the metropolitan of Baghdad only.

As concerning the addition of Kuwait to his title, it deals with verbal permission, which was given on behalf of Our memorable predecessor, Patriarch Benedict of Jerusalem, when at the end of January in the year 1964 our representation, consisting of the then Archbishop of Hierapolis and later Patriarch of Jerusalem Diodoros, the then deacon and present Metropolitan of Kapitoliada Hsychios, the Oikonomos Rev. Fr. Constantine Karmas travelled to Damascus and met with the then Patriarch of Antioch Theodosios VI, present also was the at that time Metropolitan of Baghdad Photios. In that meeting the at that time Patriarch of Antioch Theodosios pleaded with the at that time Archbishop Diodoros of Hierapolis to relay to the at that time Patriarch Benedict of Jerusalem his entreaty to allow Metropolitan Photios of Baghdad to travel to Kuwait for the pastoral care of the Christians there. Archbishop of Hierapolis Diodoros conveyed this entreaty to the Patriarch of Jerusalem Benedict, who accepted it.

Otherwise and already from 1967 our clergyman, now memorable Very Reverend Archimandrite Avramios Aouad, abbot in Lydda and in continuation in Haifa, traveled to Kuwait for the service of the Christians there, and also the Agiotafitis (Guardian of the All-Holy Tomb) Archimandrite Anatolios, later Archbishop of Tiberias and Exarch of our Patriarchate in Athens, traveled to Yemen for the service of our flock there, as it is shown by the archives of our Patriarchate.

For this reason our Patriarchate fulfilled for a long period of time the vacant Holy Metropolis of Bostra in Arabia with the election of the memorable Metropolitan Ymenaios of Bostra in the year 1985, in which he was succeeded in 1989 by the present Metropolitan of Bostra Timothy.

No juxtaposition existed during the entire past period 40+ years between our Patriarchate and the ever-memorable Patriarchal predecessors of Antioch Theodosios, Ilias and Ignatios, but on the other hand, We always maintained good and brotherly relations with them close collaboration within the framework of rehabilitation of the Middle Eastern Council of Churches and in general.

We are truly sorrowful and do not hold any grudge for the fact that the Patriarchate of Antioch protested and asked from Us the non-execution of the decision of Our Holy and Sacred Synod, since the promotion for the many years of devoted service of Our Patriarchal Representative to the Emirate of Qatar Very Reverend Archimandrite Makarios to Archbishop of Qatar (Kattaron).

We are not able to proceed with the postponement or nullification of such a decision for the above-mentioned reasons, which confirms Our canonical jurisdiction and Our canonical actions in the aforementioned region.

From all the above it is exhibited that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem sowed and watered in the land of Qatar, which is under His canonical jurisdiction.

Toward the corroboration of the fact that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem acts in full respect toward ecclesiastical order and the in Christ preservation of communion and unity of the brother Orthodox Churches, We mention similarly, that We, in the grace of peace and unity of the Churches, withdrew Our decision which was taken by Our predecessor the memorable Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem, for the pastoral care after the persistent request of the faithful from Palestine and the Orthodox from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which reside in the United States of America.

Having through hope that the true and brotherly above mentioned in Our brotherly letter, will be sufficient to convince Your most beloved and profound Beatitude for the justified continuation of the pastoral work of our Patriarchate in the Emirate of Qatar, the Arabian Peninsula and the Arabian Gulf, We insist on the in Christ continuation of close collaboration of the brother Churches of Jerusalem and Antioch for the benefit of Our Orthodox flocks and for the glory of Our Triune God and mainly during the passing time of the present coincidence, in which the people of Syria, mainly the Christ-named flock of the sister Orthodox Church of Antioch which is being severely tested.

For this, We offer to Your Beatitude Our embrace in the Lord from the All-Holy and Life-Giving Tomb, We remain.

In the Holy City of Jerusalem, the 19th of March 2013.

 

To Your Honored Beatitude

Beloved Brother in the Lord,

THEOPHILOS III

Patriarch of Jerusalem




LETTER OF H.B. PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL REGARDING GIHON COMPANY.

Holy City of Jerusalem,  Monday, October 29, 2012

 

His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu,

Prime Minister of the State of Israel,

Your Excellency,

 

We trust this letter finds You well, in good health and prosperity.

We write to you in relation to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the most ancient Shrine of Christianity.

In an unprecedented act, the Israeli water utility company, “Gihon”, imposed a “Charge” of millions of shekels upon the bank accounts of Our Patriarchate thus rendering them frozen and inactive.

This was conducted by the administration staff of Gihon Company, in a move which totally disregards and undermines the sanctity as well as the sensitivity of the Shrine of the Holy Sepulchre.

Imposing such an unjust act amounts to an attempt to change the De-facto situation which constitutes a fundamental breach of the “Status Quo”, legally existing for centuries, that guards the Holy Sepulchre and, for hundreds of years, grants the use of free water supply servicing the millions of pilgrims that journey to the Holy Land.

We gravely fear such acts as they may impact the pilgrim’s customary practices and lead to the unimaginable closure of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

We call out for Your Excellency’s immediate intervention to cause the upholding of the Status Quo and to stop this offensive conduct against the sacred Holy Sepulchre of Jesus Christ, the most ancient and holy shrine for Christians of the World.

 

With best wishes and Patriarchal blessings,

THEOPHILOS III,

PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM.

 




H.B. THEOPHILOS’ III LETTER OF CONDOLENCES TO THE COPTIC CHURCH IN JERUSALEM.

His Eminence

The Coptic Archbishop, Dr. Anba Abraham

Coptic Church Jerusalem

Your Eminence,

We were shocked to hear about the tragic death of twenty two faithful of the Coptic Church in Alexandria, victims of a terrorist action together with a hundred of injured. We strongly condemn this lethal action of violence and express Our deep condolences to the Coptic Church and to the relatives of those ones who passed away.

We pray to Our Lord Jesus Christ from His Holy Tomb to alleviate the injured and protect innocent people from such arbitrary actions in the future.

With Our fraternal wishes,

THEOPHILOS III

PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM

Holy City of Jerusalem

Tuesday, January 04, 2011