Gregorios III, “For the mystery of iniquity is already at work…”
The whole world was shocked by the wave of criminal barbarity that broke out in Paris and its suburbs yesterday. We were deeply moved when we learned of this unspeakable horror.
Yet again we find ourselves caught up in the spiral of blind violence that seems to have engulfed our world, and especially the Arab world, for the last five years. It reminds us of the words of Saint Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:7): “For the mystery of iniquity is already at work…” in this world alienated from God. Neither can we forget the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, speaking of a disaster in his own days, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)
With our Holy Synod, our eparchies and our French parishes of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre in Paris, Saint-Nicolas de Myra in Marseille and our nuns at Aubazine in Corrèze, we join in the prayer of the Churches of France and call for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in all our Melkite Greek Catholic parishes in remembrance of the victims and for the intentions of their families and for Peace.
So everyone may heed the voice of Faith and the holy commandments: Do not murder, but rather love your neighbour as yourself, so that the mystery of the Resurrection may prevail, and not that of iniquity!
We exhort the international community and call upon all believers of all religions to stand with us for peace, faith, hope and charity. “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments re not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh he world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:3-4)
Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem