Holy City of Jerusalem, 17 May 2012.


 Your Grace, Bishop Suheil,

Your Grace, Archbishop Fred,

Dear Father Hosam,

Sisters and Brothers,

Christ is risen!

Al-Masiach qam!

We greet you in joy today as you celebrate the installation of Father Hosam as Dean of this Cathedral. This celebration opens a new chapter in your life, and we have known of Father Hosam’s ministry here for years as pastor of the Arab-speaking Anglican congregation at the Cathedral.

The Anglican Communion has a long and important relationship of particular significance. We remember with warmth the recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose commitment to closer relations with the Orthodox Church is well known, and whose support of the Christian communities of the Holy Land has been specially encouraging to us all.

As Orthodox and Anglicans in the Holy Land, we share many of the same challenges as well as many commitments. Most of all we share the commitment of ensuring the well-being and the security of the Christian presence in the Holy Land. Christianity is native to this region, and we regard the Holy Land as our home. And we understand that a vital, vibrant Christian presence is essential to the true nature of the Holy Land as a place of genuine religious, cultural and ethnic diversity and co=existence.

We know the place that Saint George’s Cathedral and Saint George’s College hold in the hearts of so many Anglicans around the world. You welcome many pilgrims here every year, and you are the gateway to a fresh relationship with the Holy Land for many faithful Anglicans. This is a crucial ministry, and we of the support that you receive from your fellow Anglicans around the world. The presence of Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is an eloquent expression of your world-wide influence and commitments.

As we celebrate your installation today, dear Father Hosam, we greet also your wife, Rafa, and your children Wadi, Laurice and Krista. We know the support that a priest’s family can provide.

This Cathedral bears a significant dedication, for in your patron Saint George we Orthodox and Anglicans share a great saint, whom we venerate with equal devotion, especially in the Holy Land, and his image adorns the lintels of so many of our  Christian homes.

In token of our prayers for you, your family and your congregation here at the Cathedral, we would like to present to you this icon of Saint George, and we commit you to his prayers and protection.

May God bless you, Bishop Suheil, Archbishop Fred, Father Hosam, and the ministry of this Cathedral.

Thank you.

His Beatitude


Patriarch of Jerusalem


From 11-12/ 24-26th of April 2012 an International Interreligious Conference was convened in Kiev with the theme the contribution of the religions in the fight against violence and for the promotion and establishment of peace in our modern society.

His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III was invited to this Conference and gave the lecture which follows:

“Remarks at the Kyiv Interfaith Forum’s International Conference on Global Winds of Change: Religion’s Role in Today’s World; The Challenges in Democracies and Secular Society

His Beatitude Theophilos III Patriarch of Jerusalem

Dear Mr. Feldman,

Esteemed Fellow Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen

it will come as no surprise to you that we believe strongly that religious faith plays a role of paramount importance in any vibrant, healthy society. This is so not least because religion and religious affiliation lie at the very heart of the identity of most countries and cultures.

If we take our own region of the Middle East as an example, it is religion that determines the primary description of the many ethnic identities of our diverse communities. We see this everywhere, from Baghdad to Damascus, from Beirut to Nicosia, from Cairo to Jerusalem. Without a nuanced understanding both of the religious Identities of our peoples, and of the complex historical relationship that has existed between different communities of faith down the centuries, it is not possible to understand Middle Eastern society. The conflict that currently exists between Israel and Palestine is, at its heart, a matter of religion.

We do not deny that in the relations of the nations, diplomacy and political negotiation play a crucial and leading role. And whereas there is a distinction between the mission of the Church and the work of political leadership, it would be naive to ignore the importance of religion in our common life, even in societies that are described as increasingly secular. By definition, the very existence of arguments about “secularism” assumes the importance of religion in the conscious and unconscious life of our society.

In our contemporary conflicts around the world, politicians have come to realize more than ever before the power and influence of religious leadership in the work of establishing and maintaining peaceful, harmonious, and just societies. Governments cannot succeed in efforts of peace-building and the extension of Justice to all without the co-operation of religious leadership.

If we look, for example, at the present situation of the European Union, we see the paradox on the one hand of more or less official secularization and the separation of Church and State in most countries, while on the other hand we see the emergence of a new power and influence of religion in those same countries.

In Christian, understanding there has been this fundamental instinct from the very inception of the life of the Church. For instance, in the Letter to the Romans, Saint Paul reminds us that “nations, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though having no law, are a law unto themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience bears witness” (Roman 2:14-15).

Here in the Ukraine, you will understand this phenomenon better than many in our own time.   For during the difficult years of the 20th century, religion survived, even under extreme difficulty and persecution. And since the collapse of totalitarianism, we see the forceful resurgence of religion In the region, and the importance that it clearly holds, not simply for the individual believer, but for the health and well-being of the society as a whole. For religion promotes good citizenship, as we have seen in former times such as the Byzantine Empire, where Church and State worked together in harmony and where there was a system of mutual synalleleia.

We know, for history has taught us, often painfully, that we have no right whatsoever to disregard the role of religion in human society, both as an individual and a collective reality. And we have learnt the truth of the words of the Holy Scriptures: “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” {Mt 4:4, Deut. 8:3).

The longing of the human heart for communion with God is a universal experience, older even than human memory itself, and as we look to the common human destiny that we all share, may we understand afresh the urgency of the right relationship of religion in contemporary society. It has been acknowledged by science that man is not a biological entity only, but there is, as Saint Paul says, there is the “inner man,” that is the Spirit that dwells in him. For it is only on this path that human society will survive and flourish.

 Thank you”.


Amman, 24 April 2012.

 The Reverend Dr. Paul Rohana

Your Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad,

Your Beatitudes,

Your Eminences,

Your Excellencies,

Brothers and Sisters,

Distinguished Guests,

Christ is risen!


Under the Patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, today we celebrate the inauguration of this office and we welcome the new Secretary General of the Middle East Council of Churches, the Reverend Dr. Paul Rohana.

We thank you, Your Highness, for the support and vote of confidence that your presence here today represents. We are constantly reminded of your wise words at the United Nations for <World Interfaith Harmony week>, when you said:<The misuse or abuse of religions can be… a cause of world strife, whereas religions should be a great foundation for facilitating world peace. The remedy for this problem can only come from the world’s religions themselves. Religions must be part of the solution, not part of the problem>. Unity shall be our strongest weapon.

Your Highness leads by example, and in this same spirit you have recantly made an historic visit to Jerusalem. It was indeed a pleasure to welcome you to our patriarchate. Your Highness is well known throughout the world for your efforts in support of interreligious dialogue. We are encouraged by this support, especially of the work of the Middle East council of Churches, and we applaud Your Highness for this witness to the cause of peace and justice.

We also wish to pay tribute to the role of His Majesty KingAbdullah II. May God bless him in everything that he does. His leadership in a time of Challenges remains a source of encouragement to so many.

Join us, please, in acknowledging Father Paul. We welcome him in his new capacity, and welcome him also to Jordan, the birth-place of many peace initiatives, among them principally the <Amman Massage>, the <Common Word>, and the <Interfaith Harmony Week>.

Father Paul and his team have a considerable responsibility and a huge challenge in their work for the unity of the Christian voice in our beloved region. Their task is not only to make our voice better heard, but also to encourage us all to fulfill our role and mission in the fabric of our society.

The Middle East Council of Churches must realise its ecumenical destiny of being the instrument to mobilize the Churches of the region and to provide, indeed, the right grounding for our relationships with our fellow citizens and the rest of the world.

We take pride in the initiative of this new office which will serve the work of the Middle East Council of Churches as well both the patriarchate of Jesuralem, the mother of all the Churches, and the member Orthodox Church family. This new office is a clear demonstration of our commitmment to the fundamental purposes of the Council, which we have made in our efforts in the re-organisation of the Council.

This is more than timely, not least because of the rapid and unexpected developments in our region. And we understand the chief purposes of this office to be three-fold:

1)to work to remove the obstacles to our common witness.

2)to encourage genuine respect and understanding between Churches and Christian communities, and between Christians and members of other faiths; and

3)to serve the needs of the Orthodox Family of Churches within the Council.

Amman has been chosen as the home for this office for very specific reasons.

The Orthodox Church is the oldest continuous religious institution in the region, so we have grown up in a unique cultural context of symbiosis, and therefore we understand the complexities of the multi-cultural and multi-faith inheritance that is ours. And here in our beloved Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan we have a true example in our region of freedom of expession and freedom of worship.

Last but not least, we would like to thank Miss Wafa Goussous for her commitment to the Council. She has been instrumental in the implementation of the work of this office. Without her careful attention and management, this office would not exist.

May God bless this effort, and strengthen us in our mission.

Thank you!

His Beatitude


Patriarch of Jerusalem


On Wendsday the 5th / 18th of March 2012, His Highness Prince Ghazi of Jordan escorted by Sheikh Ali Gomaa the Grand Mufti of Egypt and by other religious and political personalities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and of the Palestinian Authority, in the presence of the Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel Mr. Cesar Marzie visited the Patriarchate.

His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III received His Highness Prince Ghazi of Jordan along with Fathers members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre. Welcoming the Prince His Beatitude said that Jerusalem is an example of religious symbiosis of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

On occasion of this visit His Beatitude presented to the Emir a replica of the Nativity Church made from mother of pearl and a book of the Koran also decorated with mother of pearl. His Beatitude presented to the Grand Mufti of Egypt a plaque with inscripted passages from the Koran.

After this visit to the Patriarchate, the Prince with His Beatitude escorted by Fathers -members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre descended from the Central Monastery via the Cathedral of St. James to the Church of Resurrection and the Holy Shrines therein.

Chief Secretary’s Office.



Holy City of Jerusalem, 18 April 2012


Your Eminence Archbishop Nourhan,

Your Eminences, Dear Reverend Fathers,

Christ is risen!

We have come to greet you and rejoice with you in our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our living hope.

For we read in the First Letter of Peter: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable.” (I Peter 1:3)-

By Divine Providence we have been made the guardians and servants of this “imperishable inheritance, for we are the guardians and servants of the Holy Sites, which themselves bear witness to our crucified Lord. This has always been, and continues now to be, our mission, and the Holy Sites are a focus of devotion and attention not only to our fellow Christians, but indeed to the whole world.

“If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain, and your faith is in vain”. So declares the Apostle Saint Paul in the First Letter to the Corinthian (I Cor. 15:14). Just as we know that if the resurrection has not taken place, our faith is futile, so it is that should Jerusalem ever be left without our presence here, then the living witness of the resurrection -that is, the Tomb of Christ – would disappear. Jerusalem would lose its vibrant Christian character.

It is, therefore, our moral responsibility to maintain the precious Christian character of Jerusalem, for is so doing Jerusalem remains a sign of hope – a hope that shines brightly from the Tomb of our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Let us, then, overcome our shortcomings and weaknesses, and join our efforts in proclaiming the message of hope, consolation, and, above all, new and eternal life.

Your Eminence, Archbishop Nourhan, we assure you that we are ready in the name of our common Lord and in the spirit of the resurrection to heal any wounds that have been caused by human frailty.

Once again, on behalf of our Brotherhood and ourselves personally, we extend to you our prayers for His Beatitude Patriarch Tarkoom. Please accept our Paschal greetings to your Brotherhood and to the whole Armenian community of the Holy Land.

 Christ is risen!

 Thank you.


His Beatitude


Patriarch of Jerusalem



Holy City of Jerusalem, Tuesday of Pascha, the 17th of April 2012.

“This is the Holy and chosen day, the first of Sabbaths, the Mistress and Queen, the Feast of feasts and the Festival of festivals, and on it Christ is glorified unto all ages”. Says the hymnographer of the Church.

Your Beatitudes

Your Eminences

Reverend Fathers

Dear Sisters and brothers

The Holy Jerusalem Church together with the Christian Community celebrates the life-bearing resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is central to our faith for, as  Saint Paul says in his epistle to Corinthians, if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins (1 Cor 15, 16-17).

The Risen Christ is alive for ever in the presence of the Father, sovereign over the power of death, and so pars beyond hat death can do to us. We have nothing to fear: the death that is a punishment for sin in fallen humanity is overcome as we accept the ‘death’ of baptism, identifying ourselves with Christ’s obedient and self giving death. Once this has been done, new life is ours which physical death cannot touch. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord says Paul (Rom 6, 23)

Our Paschal gathering today here is a visible and tangible witness to the living reality of our faith to the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ.

Christian presence in Jerusalem is precisely the physical testimony to the undeniable fact of the death and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The death of corruption i.e. of sin has no longer any power on us, despite his aggressive and destructive power on man and ofcourse on our Church Community. For the risen Christ is the incarnate and unfailing hope. It is the hope of Christ’s anastasis that has encouraged and strengthened us throughout the ages to keep our lamps going on with the life-giving light that has come out from the empty tomb of Christ.

Our diverse expression of our faith should not be considered as an obstacle to our common Christian proclamation that Christ is the Incarnate and risen divine Logos of love, justice truth and living light.

Ours is the ministry and mission to be the light of the world. This is Our Lord’s commandment to His servants: “Let your light to shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father” (Mat 5, 14-15).

We pray our risen Lord to enlighten the minds and warm the hearts of those who exercise authority throughout the world to work for peace and justice on earth and especially on our beloved Jerusalem and Holy Land, where the destructive power of Hades was conquered by the divine and salvation authority of the Lord of Justice and peace.

Christos Anesti.

His Beatitude


Patriarch of Jerusalem


On Holy Tuesday, the 28th of March / 10th of April 2012, the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre – whose superior is His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III visited on occasion of their  Easter the Fransciscan Brotherhood  and the Latin Patriarchate, following the years-long established order of exchanging visits during the feasts.

After these first two visits, His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III escorted by the Chief Secretary His Eminence Aristarchos Archbishop of Constantina visited the Apostolic Delegate who is the Representative of the Pope to Jerusalem and the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani while His Eminence Timotheos Metropolitan of Vostra visited the Lutheran Bishop in Jerusalem Mounib Yiounan and the Propts of the German-speaking Community in the Holy Land Rev Uew.

His Beatitude reciprocated properly according to the circumstance all the addressees and below is the address of His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem to the Custo, in the English language (please see the link https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/2012/04/10/1960/)

Chief Secretary’s Office.



Jerusalem, Holy Tuesday the 10th of April 2012.

Easter Greetings

to the Custos of the Holy Land

 and Superior of the Franciscans

Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa


Your Paternity,

Dear Brothers,

Christ is risen!

He is risen indeed!

We are here today to give you our greetings on this great feast, the Feast of the Resurrection – the Anastasis – of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which took place here in Jerusalem. We have been blessed to be the guardians and servants of the Holy Places and the Holy Land, and at the same time to bear  living witness to his saving passion and death and his glorious resurrection.

This Paschal celebration is of particular importance not only for our brotherhoods and our communities, but for the whole Christian world. Even as we experience in this life the battlle of darkness against light, of falsehood against truth, and of death against life, we proclaim Christ himself to be our light, our truth, our life and our way. Ours is the mission to show Christ’s way to a world that longs for the salvation of God.

Having been entrusted by Divine Providence with this sacred trust and responsibility, our care of the Holy Places that constitute the earthly Jerusalem is a reminder to us all of the heavenly Jerusalem, which is our common longing.

As we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we recall also the mystery of his incarnation, the eternal Logos made flesh, and his nativity in Bethlehem. Just as we are to maintain the Christian character of Jerusalem, we have an equal moral obligation to safeguard the Christian character of Bethlehem.

There the Grotto of the Nativity was ennobled by the Church of the Nativity by great and pious emperors, and there countless faithful over the centuries have unceasingly venerated the mystery of the incarnation. This testifies to our sacred and ecumenical heritage, and it falls to us to ensure that this original testimony is maintained clear and unadulterated.

Now more than ever before we are called to work together as fraternities in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ, as we have done for years now, to uphold all the Holy Sites as places of pilgrimage and worship. In our day the Holy Places have become the focus in international and regional affairs of unpredictable developments. However, we are confident that by safe-guarding the spiritual and worshipful integrity of the Holy Places, they will remain beacons of hope and reconciliation, and effective means of promoting peaceful co-existence among all peoples.

We wish you, Your Paternity, and the Franciscan brotherhood and your community, a blessed and joyous Pasha. May our shared and firm witness show that we proclaim to our region and to the world the life -giving message of our Lord Jesus Christ, who assumed our common humanity and delivered us from the power of death and the tomb, that our human nature might be restored and glorified in and through his resurrection.

Christ is risen!

Thank you.

His Beatitude


Patriarch of Jerusalem



On Tuesday, the 17th / 4th of April 2012, the visits of the Western and Eastern Churches to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem took place on occasion of our Easter. This is followed by the years-long established order of exchanging visits during the feasts.

Firstly the Brotherhood of the Franciscans visited the Patriarchate followed by the Churches namely the Latin, Lutheran, Anglican, Coptic Syrian, Ethiopian, Maronite and finally the Armenian.

His Beatitude Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III addressed the representatives of the Latin, Lutheran, Anglican, Syrian, Maronite and Ethiopian Churches at 10:00 o’clock at the Throne Hall as follows, in the English Language, (please see the following link: https://en.jerusalem-patriarchate.info/2012/04/17/1972/)

Chief Secretary’s Office.



His Beatitude Theophilos III  address at the inauguration of the new wing of the Orthodox School in Taybe, Tuesday the 3th of April 2012.

Your Excellency Mr Basam Rifai,

The U.S. Aid Commissioner,

Dr. Leila Ganam, Mohafez of Ramallah and Bireh,

Your Eminences,

Dear Friends of the Taybe Rum Orthodox School


It is a great honour for Us to inaugurate the new section of this educational institution.

Knowledge is the key to freedom and truth. This is precisely what the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate has been promoting throughout the ages, despite the many difficulties and complexities through which it exercises its ministry and mission here in the Holy Land and the broader area of the Middle East.

The cooperation and mutual understanding between the Patriarchate and the US. Aid Organization has been fruitful and productive in helping the Palestinian youth without any discrimination communal or religious, to attain to its aspirations of a national and independent identity within a democratic social and political context.

The Rum Orthodox Patriarchate and its Taybe Community takes pride of the fact that all pupils and students enjoy the fruits of a shared common cultural heritage and a diverse religious affiliation.

We are looking forward to further Our cooperation with the U.S. Aid building new institutions that will encourage such initiatives that bring about progress in social, national and even economic flourish.

We would like to express Our deep gratitude to the USA administration and its U.S. Aid organizations for their support and confidence to Our Patriarchate.

 Last but Not least We would like to thank all those who participated in this aspiration becoming a reality.

Thank You.

His Beatutide


Patriarch of Jerusalem