Happy Feast of Christmas 2010
The Eastern Catholic Churches – Communion and Witness
Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch andAll the East
Damascus, December 2010 Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem
The Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops was a great historical event. We thank God and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for its being held.
This Synodal Assembly drafted a programme for us: communion and witness.
Our Eastern Catholic Churches are called to live an inner ecclesial communion with all the Churches of the Middle East, whose chief aim is to realise the Jesus’ prayer, “That they all may be one…that the world may believe…” (John 17: 21)
These Churches are called to give witness to their Christian faith, especially in the Arab world, with its Muslim majority.
Peace is the great warranty for sustaining the life of communion and unity, for living Christian witness in the Arab world and for reducing or halting the increasing flow of emigration.
We ask our friends, our brothers and sisters receiving our Christmas good wishes, to pray for Eastern Christians, so that they remain living, believing stones, witnessing to the history and geography of salvation in this Christian East, cradle of Christianity.
We thank all our friends and benefactors who support our Churches, parishes and projects. We pray for them and we wish them abundance of grace from the Saviour, the New Child of the cave of Bethlehem.
We ask for the gift of peace: Lord, give us peace, for thou hast given us everything.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2011!