by His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III
Rebweh June 2, 2010
Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate
of Antioch and All the East
of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
Prot. 308/2010R Rebweh June 5, 2010
Appeal to Arab kings, presidents and leaders
In these difficult times and tragic circumstances, we are addressing to you this appeal born of the sufferings that we are all living through alongside the Palestinian people. Arab and Palestinian blood, the cries of our children, the emigration of our young people and the despair of our senior citizens call us to work then by all means to restore order both in inter-Palestinian relations to achieve Palestinian unity, and in inter-Arab relations, to enable united Arabs to speak with a single voice gathering all together to urge the international community to put an end to the constant strife that is destroying our societies; for a house divided against itself cannot stand, as our Lord Jesus Christ says in the Holy Gospel.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church has continually and repeatedly borne witness in favour of Arab causes in general and the Palestinian cause in particular, in the person of bishop Gregorios Hajjar, martyr for the Palestinian cause, as well as His Grace our brother bishop Hilarion Capucci, witness, campaigner and defender of that cause.
The presence of His Grace on board the peace flotilla to raise the blockade of Gaza is a symbol and affirmation of the involvement of our Church with Palestinians, Palestinian rights and the Palestinian cause. His Grace’s campaign is moreover evidence of the Catholic Church’s position and that of the Popes themselves, a firm and clear position towards the Palestinian cause and Palestinian rights, expressed by support given to Palestinian refugees by Catholic Christian institutions in our East and throughout the whole world.
In view of our support for the campaign of our brother bishop Hilarion, our patriarchal sovereignty has for some years now been minded not to allow our brother bishop Hilarion to be obliged to step down from his ecclesial function on grounds of being past the statutory retirement age. That is why His Grace continues to be styled Patriarchal Vicar General of Jerusalem and bishop in exile, everywhere representing the Church of Jerusalem.
As head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and Patriarch of Jerusalem and in the name of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and in the name of the Council of Catholic Churches in Syria, let us by your side cry aloud and shout to all the nations of the world for peace and the resolution of the Palestinian case. The future of our rising generations is in danger and emigration, exile, depression, fanaticism and oppression are the source of wars and struggles, which, in the absence of intervention, will affect the whole world.
Condemnations are no longer any use and our peoples are weary of condemnations, while the world has heard it all before, so we are asking you all to take the necessary steps, regardless of cost, to work actively and in co-ordination with Western countries and the United States to oblige Israel to make peace, which is the only glimmer of hope for our future, that of our East and of the whole world.
Lastly, I am praying almighty God to grant peace to the land of Peace.
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
of Alexandria and of Jerusalem