Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Patriarch Daniel of Romania's Message to Patriarch John X

Romanian original here.

Your Beatitude Patriarch John
of Antioch and all the East
Beloved brother in Christ, Master, and Co-celebrant,

The selection of Your Beatitude as Patriarch of Antioch and all the East was received by the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Romanian Orthodox Church with great spiritual joy. Through the work of the grace of the Most Holy Spirit, through Whom all good things are fulfilled, you have been entrusted with shepherding the right-believing people in the entire venerable apostolic Patriarchate of Antioch-- a church blessed with a multitude of holy martyrs, hierarchs, monks, theologians, and missionaries.

We are confident, your beatitude, that the rich experience that you have had in the realm of academic theology at Balamand University as well as on an international level as the shepherd of Arabic-speaking Orthodox believers in Europe will be of great use to you in the context of the difficult trials that Christians in the Middle East are experiencing at this time.

Over the centuries, fraternal relations between our sister Orthodox churches have continuously developed, especially during difficult periods of their history. Good fraternal relations have consolidated common witness, manifest in unity of dogma, canons, and ritual, as well solidarity through practical cooperation, especially in preserving and promoting the spiritual and cultural idenitity of Arabic-speaking Orthodox Christians. It is therefor our duty at the present to continue and to deepen these bonds between our sister Orthodox churches, especially during this period of deep and rapid transformation in contemporary society. Across time, Orthodox Christians in the entire Patriarchate of Antioch have suffered much but they have resisted and have faithfully preserved the faith received from the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul.

We are confident that if we constantly promote " the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3), God will help us to give together a Christian witness of peace and cooperation for the common good.

Therefor we pray to Christ the Lord, "the Good Shepherd" (John 10:11) and the "High Priest of our confession" (Hebrews 3:1), to grant you His help in the service so important and heavy with responsibility as Primate of the Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East and in guiding along the path of salvation the people that you have been entrusted to shepherd.

At this beginning on the way of your beatitude's patriarchal service, we congratulate you and wish you many years and blessings!

With brotherly love in Jesus Christ and choice esteem,

Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church

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