Fouad Twal.jpgThe address of January 11th delivered by the Latin
Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude, Fouad Twal at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to bishops from around the world wasn’t
that new and substantive but he talked about the tragic spilling of blood of many Christians in recent months, then he made a plea for a common and more deeper communion in the Lord with the hope of sharing the Eucharistic Table on earth. For
several years there’s been annual meeting of bishops from the various ecclesial
communions called the
Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the
Church of the Holy Land and another, the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in the
Holy Land. Basically, these bishops are meeting this week to discuss their philanthropic work in Jerusalem
Some of the address is excerpted here:

Now, more than ever, we see the
truth of what the Synod Fathers wrote in their propositions to the Holy Father,
that our calling to be bearers of peace, “means sharing the cross of Christ.”
We also wrote: “Amidst a world marked by division and extreme positions, we are
called to live communion in the Church staying open to everyone
.” Clearly this
is a calling beyond our human strength at times. It is only the grace of God
present in our communion with Him and between us that can help us embrace this
mission as a precious gift.

Dear brothers, sharing the same faith in one God, one savior, and sharing one joy, I pray the Lord that our communion increases, our daily dialogue and charity become stronger so that we reach one day the full communion and unitynot only in the heavenly Jerusalem but on this earthThis is the dream of 2 billion Christians. We bishops have a great responsibility to work for this noble goal through our prayer and action. Again I wish you all a very joyful Christmas and a blessed new year.

An extract from His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III’s address in response

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III said: “This land is where Heaven meets Earth. The Churches in this land play a very important role, not just religious but also in the social and political field. The disasters in Iraq and Egypt where Christians were killed, not just because they are Christians but as fellow human beings, has brought to the attention of politicians the problem of fanaticism that prevents reconciliation, peace and co-existence.

Our role is vital as it is to communicate the incarnate love of our Lord. Love can overcome obstacles and reach out to the heart of enemies.”

Jerusalem is not just a local parishit is a universal parish. So far globalisation has not entered and Jerusalem maintains its spiritual purity and that is why it is important for the rest of the world.”