PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM DELEGATION VISITS ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH AHEAD OF AMMAN FRATERNAL GATHERING
Jerusalem Feb 15, 2020
A high level delegation formally representing the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was commissioned by H.B. Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to meet with His All Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, to further explain the importance of the fraternal gathering scheduled to be held in Amman, Jordan later on this month with the participation of the vast majority of Orthodox Patriarchs and heads of Churches, to discuss global orthodox unity and to enhance inter-orthodox dialogue and reconciliation.
The delegation assured H.A.H. the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during a 2-hour meeting held today at H.A.H. headquarters in the presence of members of the Ecumenical Synod, that the Amman fraternal gathering does not constitute a formal Synaxis but rather a familial gathering of the Orthodox Primates for the purpose of dialogue.
The delegation carried a letter from H.B. Theophilos III in which he extended H.A.H. Bartholomew an invitation to the Amman gathering, and pointed out his sincerity in upholding the Holy Canons of the Church and respecting H.A.H the Ecumenical Patriarch’s acknowledged seniority.
THE UNDERTAKING OF DUTY OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF KYRIAKOYPOLIS AS PATRIARCHAL REPRESENTATIVE IN AMMAN
The service for the undertaking of duty of the recently elected and ordained Most Reverend Archbishop Christophoros of Kyriakoupolis as Patriarchal Representative in Amman took place on Saturday June 17/30, 2018, according to the decision of the Holy Synod. This was done through a Divine Liturgy which was officiated by H.H.B. our Father and Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos at the Holy Church of the Meeting of the Lord in Amman. The Church was built by the memorable Patriarch Diodoros. Co-celebrants to His Beatitude were the Most Reverend Metropolitan Benedict of Philadelphia, the visiting Metropolitan Chrysostom of Kyrinia from the Church of Cyprus, the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina and Secretary-General, the also recently elected and ordained Most Reverend Archbishop Aristovoulos of Madaba, Hagiotaphite Hieromonks, all the Arab-speaking Priests of the Patriarchate in Jordan, Deacon Evlogios, and other Deacons. The service was attended by the Minister of public works and housing Mr. Sami Halasa and other governmental members. The choir was formed by Fr. Alexander and Fadi who sang in Arabic and Greek before a full congregation who cheered in great joy. His Beatitude delivered the following Sermon:
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness”(Col. 3:12-14); St. Paul preaches.
Most Reverend Archbishop Christophoros of Kyriakoupolis,
The Holy and Sacred Synod with Us, by the divine inspiration in a regular voting, has promoted you to the great office of Prelacy. And through Our mediocrity, the Divine Grace has ordained you Archbishop of the Holy Archdiocese of Kyriakoupolis and appointed you Patriarchal Representative in Amman and its outskirts, after the voluntary resignation of our dearest brother Most Reverend Metropolitan Benedict of Philadelphia.
“The Holy Ghost (which brings together the whole constitution of the Church) hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28); St. Paul preaches. Most Reverend Archbishop Christophoros of Kyriakoupolis, you have been called unto this ministry of pasturing the noble Christian congregation in the Hashemite Kingdom of Biblical Jordan, which is under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Venerable Greek-Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarchate.
Your calling is to keep the Holy Apostles’ tradition which was taught of God, and to preach the sacrificial and kenotic one. Especially in our time, when there are wars and turbulence around the world and in particular in our tested region.
Since your childhood, your joining in the body of the monastic order of the venerable Hagiotaphite Brotherhood, which has been preserving the shrines of the sacred history in the Holy Land and the Holy City of Jerusalem throughout the centuries, has fostered and “nourished you up in the words of faith and of good doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:6), in other words, in the doctrines of our pure Orthodox faith and tradition. While your ministering care for the Church and its faithful members, by the good co-operation of your predecessor Most Reverend Metropolitan of Philadelphia, and the highlighting of the Holy Nunnery in Dibin as a practical manifestation of your obedience in the assignments of the Church, in other words, of your spiritual Status and the decisions of our Holy and Sacred Synod, have made you, Archbishop of Kyriakoupolis, a pastor of the logical sheep of Christ in the blessed Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The mission of the Bishop as a descendant of the Holy Apostles is primarily met with the Will of our God and Saviour “who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). Because of this, the spiritual and moral responsibility of the Bishop as a Pastor is great indeed, especially in our era of globalization, with the prevailing of apostasy and iniquity. Towards this, the first among the Apostles, Peter, advices the Pastors saying: “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears [Christ], you will receive the unfading crown of glory” (1 Peter 5:2-4). And he becomes more particular; “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”(1 Peter 5:5).
Most Reverend Archbishop Christophoros of Kyriakoupolis,
“The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). “Behold, now is the favourable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). And “the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few” (Matt. 9:37). We pray the Lord that He may send those few labourers to His harvest. Undertake this ministry of the labourer at the Lord’s vineyard and become Christophoros [Christ bearer] in both words and actions, having as a harvest tool the love of Christ, which “does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor. 13:5-6).
May the unifying power of God’s love and also the peace, reconciliation and unity among all our fellow-men and fellow-citizens, without any discrimination, be – according to Paul- “the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day” (Ephes. 6:13), in other words, when the temptation hits you with force.
Both the faithful people of God and the respected Royal and Civil authorities of the country, look up to your new ministry with joy and hope, holy brother. It is the ministry of the Representative of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, the descendant of St. James the Brother of God and of Patriarch Sophronios, who cultivated the strong brotherly bonds between the Royal Hashemite Dynasty and the Greek-Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarchate.
Along with the members of the Holy and Sacred Synod and all our Hagiotaphite Brotherhood and the Clergy, We pray the Holy Trinitarian God, so that the Holy Spirit, Whose divinity was made manifest in the River Jordan upon our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, may guide your footsteps towards the working of His commandments, by the intercessions of His Most Holy Mother, our Most Blessed Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, with the prayers of the Holy Martyr Christophoros and the Holy Martyrs Isavros and those with him who we commemorate today.
For all these, we beseech and pray to our Almighty God, for the health and strengthening and preservation of the King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Custodian of the Islamic and Christian Shrines in the Holy City of Jerusalem, His Majesty King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein and His Royal family. Amen.”
On Saturday evening there was a reception in honour of the new Representative by the Community of Amman at the Greek-Orthodox club. His Beatitude delivered the following address there:
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor. 3:9-11); this is what Apostle Paul commands of the preachers of the Gospel, the Pastors of the Church.
Beloved Friends, Brothers and Sisters,
Ladies and gentlemen,
We thank God the Father, Who has deemed us worthy, the humble ones in the flesh, to become abettors in His work, namely the Church, which is His mystical body in the world (Acts 1:25).
Having received this ministry and mission, We have never ceased caring for our reverend Christian congregation on either side of the river Jordan.
A proof of this is the existing unceasing Christian presence in the Holy Land throughout the centuries, which needless to say, includes our much respected Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, under the wise and powerful rule of His Majesty the King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein.
The mission of the Church is centred primarily in the Lord’s words: “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matt. 9:12-13).
The mission of this witness of the light of Christ’s truth and love, is being evangelized by the Mother of all Churches, the Roman-Orthodox Jerusalem Patriarchate, which undeniably is worldwide recognized as the guarantee not only of the Christians in the Middle East, but also the assurance and seal of their identity as a Community. And this is so, because the Christians’ benchmark in our region are the Holy Shrines, with first in rank the All-Holy and Life-giving Tomb of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which is located in the centre of the Holy City of Jerusalem.
St. John the Evangelist says; “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). In other words, we mind over the things that are of God, while the world minds over the things that are of the world. “And to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.Because the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:6).
This divine and ecclesiastical mind has led Us and the Holy and Sacred Synod to the appointment of our Patriarchal Representative in Amman, Archbishop Christophoros of Kyriakoupolis, as well as the appointment of the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristovoulos of Madaba as a pastor, along with his post of the Patriarchal Representative in North Jordan, based in the town of Irbet.
Allow me, my dear ones, to highlight that the dialogue of love and peace is according to God’s mind, unlike the contradiction and confrontation which are according to the mind of the world.
Finally, we take this blessed opportunity to deeply express our heartfelt thanks to His Majesty the most respected King of the Hashemite Kingdom, Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein, as well as the Chief Advisor of the King on Religious, Christian and Cultural Affairs, His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, our most dear friend, whose practical interest in favour of the Christian presence here is known to all.
And to Our beloved brother and co-celebrant Most Reverend Archbishop of Kyriakoupolis and Patriarchal Representative in Amman and its outskirts, We wish every success from God. Thank you.”