His Beatitude John X the Patriarch of Antioch and…


His Beatitude John X the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Celebrates the Divine Liturgy on the New Year in the Maryamieh Cathedral in Damascus, January 1  - 2017

                    His Beatitude John X the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East celebrates the Divine Liturgy supported by their Eminences Bishop Mousa (Khoury), Luke (Khoury), Nicolas (Baalbakee), Efraim (Maalouly0 with a group of priests and deacons and a huge crowd of the Faithful. The choir of the Cathedral chanted while the Liturgy was transmitted live on air by the audio-visual media.

                     His Excellency the Mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic Dr. Badr Aldine Hassoun was present with the delegation of the Awkaf ministry. Rev. priest David Smith was also present with the delegation of the Evangelical church in Australia.

                     During the Liturgy, the prayer had been lifted in the hope that the New Year would carry peace to the whole world and to all the people. And His Beatitude delivered a sermon from which we extract the following excerpt:

                      The New Year comes, and wounded Syria is through sixth-year crisis. It comes while we are paying our children’s blood for Syria to live.  All the lava of terror, and all the fragments of Takfeer that are strange to us, have come down on our homeland. We have had enough of bloodshed and destruction. The country will always be one and united and all stolen territories will return to Syria, as Aleppo did. Our call today is to strengthen efforts of reconciliation and enforce the bases of coexistence. Our call to the Great Powers is to start lifting the stifling and economic siege that has been depriving all, of food, without protecting them from bombs that fall down on the unarmed, just because the weapon market is open wide.

                     What the region witnesses today, calls all to an attitude of faithfulness and meditation. We have had enough of terror, and enough of bloodshed. We, the Christians in this East, have been paying like everybody in the region taxes for what is happening.

                     We are here to re-make heard the voice: the blood of the Christians in Egypt is ours; and the houses of the Christians in Iraq are hours; we are brothers of history and geography with the Muslims in this East, with all its specters and components, whether they are a minority or a majority.

                    Again, we raise before the whole world, the organizations and governments, the cause of the two bishops of Aleppo that summarizes a part of our suffering as eastern Christians, the cause which is really considered a stab of falseness in the body of Truth. We raise before everybody the cause of the two bishops John Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi who have been abducted for more than three years. We call on all to scrutinize and look into this human file, and work hard for their release with others who are kidnapped too.

                     Our prayer today from this holy place is for Lebanon. We pray that this country may always be a place for citizenship and coexistence among all the specters. We call on everybody to preserve the constitutionality of this country to interpret common living, citizenship, and release from sectarian attitudes into the crucible of patriotism which helps the country transcend by means of cooperation and working together among its children from all specters.

                    We thank God that the presidential vacancy has lately come to end. And we pray and hope that the coming days will bring about the adoption of a new law for elections, and that parliamentary elections will be on time for the preservation of the constitutional institutions, and in favor of the citizens who have been paying a lot from their health and work.

                     Agreement on great issues that concern this country, is entrusted to accepting reasonable and serious dialogue, to be referred to, upon solving all files and difficult matters.