Sunday, October 18, 2015

Met Elias Audi: Our Church Does Not Bless Wars

Arabic original here.

Met Audi: There is No Holy War and Our Church Does Not Bless Wars

The Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Beirut, His Eminence Elias Audi, presided at the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Saint George and after the Gospel he gave a sermon in which he said:

Jesus said to His disciples, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and falsely say all manner of evil things against you for My sake. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven..."

When the Lord says these words or lives this life before us, it is in order to strengthen us and cause us to live a life in which we respond to evil with good and injustice with love. This is why He said to His disciples and those who believe in Him: If you want to be My disciples or if you are truly My disciples, you must act like Me and be in My image because you are united to Me. For this reason, the Church absolutely does not bless those who fight others or those who harm others. The Church does not bless those who kill others because human life is the possession of the Lord and when someone kills another person, it is as though he wants to kill God. In reality, the one who is killed goes to the Lord, while the killer's heart is unjust. The unjust is inhabited by Satan and Satan will not enter the kingdom of God. Therefore the Church also does not bless wars and does not say of them that they are holy. That is, it does not sanctify wars and does not accept such a statement. Every church must be like this if it teaches the Lord's teaching or if it hears His words. For this reason, we Orthodox, especially in Antioch, even as we suffer, are expelled from our homes, and are reviled, we do not fight our enemies. And as we see, our people in this region are leaving and abandoning their homes and living a miserable existence and some are even departing, but they are not returning evil with evil. Therefore, let it be clear that our Orthodox Church in which we are members does not bless and does not sanctify wars and does not say of any war that it is holy. I doubt that anyone who has said such a thing has heard the words of the Lord Jesus, "Love your enemies. Bless those who persecute you. Do good to those who hate you..."

No comments: