Monday, February 18, 2013

From John X's Sermon in Beirut, Feubrary 17, 2013

Arabic original here. If anyone has the full Arabic text, please send it my way!

Yazigi: In Recent Decades, the Orthodox Have Felt a Decline in the Principle of the State and Citizenship

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East John X Yazigi addressed the Lebanese, saying, "Lebanon has a special place for us Antiochians. It is a space of freedom, a zone of interaction, a nation for all its citizens with their various [religious] affiliations." He pointed out that "the Orthodox have not followed any leader or founded parties to defend their interests or to speak in their name. Instead, they have always been a bridge between Lebanese and Arabs. However, recent decades have cast a shadow over the Orthodox and they have suffered in their effort to establish a single state, a state of equality in citizenship, and they have felt a decline in the principle of the state and of citizenship." He indicated that, "we are called to become great in God and we offer this  progress to the nation as a gift and we lift it up to God as an offering."

As he presided over the divine liturgy at the Church of Saint Nicholas in Beirut, Yazigi said that, "people are suffering from difficult circumstances, economically and socially and are treated as an instrument, more than he is due physically and spiritually" and that "we look at our institutions as a means that God has placed at our disposal to improve people's condition and I have chosen as a motto, 'Through grace we grow. Through service we rise above. Through love the building holds together.'"

He stated that, "Caring for the youth, women, families, and the poor will be the basic focus of our work, because our institutions have a special character that we must constantly preserve." He stressed that, "Our Holy Synod of Antioch embodies our Antiochian unity and in its unity this synod is the sole place for consultation and selecting talents that are distributed to the faithful, so that they can benefit from them to the greatest degree." He said, "We pray that Antioch will remain, despite the suffering it is going through, a testimony to the authenticity of its faith and its commitment to its incarnational thinking."

Yazigi stated that, "The Church of Antioch has played a great role in history in bringing together perspectives and we will work for this church to remain a bridge. In this regard, we will support all efforts that are brought to the Antiochian Synod."

He addressed Muslims, saying, "Muslims are our partners in citizenship and have a special place for us, since with them we build our children's shared future and we will strive to renounce any sectarian thinking."

He called on all in the Arab countries to "build roots of love and prayer, so that peace and tranquility will be restored to them," asking God to "keep Syria  from any harm and ruin and bring her to peace and life with dignity."

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

I have a copy in English of Patriarch John's Pastoral letter dated Feb 17, but distinct from the sermon he gave in Beirut. I would be happy to scan and send you a copy on Monday but do not see any contact info on the blog. Please advise. Thanks.