Melkite Greek Catholic Church
 

Speech of His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregorios III

Of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

During the Meeting of the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Held after the consecration of the new Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych of Ukraine,

H. B. Sviatoslav (Shevchuk)

Kiev, Ukraine - March 28, 2011

Patriarch Gregory sitting on a chair on a porch

Speech of His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregorios III

Let us give thanks to the Lord for the new Major Archbishop, Sviatoslav of the Church of Christ in Ukraine. I refer once more to the substance of my speech during the enthronement of the new Head and Father of this Greek Catholic Church.

Thank you for the invitation to join you at this meeting of your Holy Synod.

We shall continue and intensify the relations between our Churches.

To that end I propose the formation of a joint theological and ecumenical commission of our two Churches.

At the next meeting of the Council of Eastern Catholic Patriarchs (which will be held in Iraq from 14 to 18 November, 2011) I undertake to put forward a proposal to formulate a joint motion, requesting the Holy See to raise the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church to the rank and title of Patriarchate.

Here and now I invite Your Beatitude, dear brother Sviatoslav, to the inauguration of our big Liqa'a cultural centre at Rabweh in Lebanon on 10 May, 2011.

I hope to organise an international Greek Catholic symposium in this Al-Liqa'a centre, under the auspices of both our Churches and our future joint theological and ecumenical commission.

I place these reflections, remarks and this ecclesial vision at the foot of the Cross that we have just venerated here in your Cathedral of the Resurrection on this Third Sunday of Great and Holy Lent, and under the protection of the Theotokos, Mary, our Mother and Protector of our Churches.

Thank you,

Gregorios III

Patriarch

Translation from French V. Chamberlain

 

Greetings of H. B. Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

for the enthronement of the new Major Archbishop

of Kyiv-Halyč of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

H.B. Sviatoslav (Shevchuk)

Kiev, Ukraine - March 27, 2011

Patriarch Gregory sitting on a chair on a porch

Prot. 173/2011D Damascus, March 23, 2011

Your Beatitude, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halyč of Ukraine!

Blessed be the new Pastor whom the Holy Spirit has given to the Church of Christ in this holy land of Ukraine!

Dear brother, Sviatoslav, I have the joy and honour of offering you, Your Beatitude, my fraternal good wishes on the occasion of your consecration as Major Archbishop, Head and Father of the beloved sister Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

I offer you these good wishes in my own name and in that of the Holy Synod of our Melkite Greek Catholic Church of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem. With me on this auspicious occasion, are two bishops from our Holy Synod (Archbishop Michael Abras and Metropolitan Emeritus John Haddad) and our Patriarchate's Economos General, the Secretary of the Liturgical Commission, Rev. Fr. Elias Shatawi.

Today these greetings and good wishes reach you, through us, from Jerusalem, the Mother Church of all Churches, and from the Holy Land, where our Lord Jesus Christ was born and from the Middle East, cradle of Christianity.

I greet you in the name of the Church of the East, Church of the Arabs, and in the name of my colleagues, the Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches, who constitute the Council of Eastern Catholic Patriarchs.

Personally, I am very happy at how the ecclesial, brotherly communion between our two (Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Melkite Greek Catholic) Churches has developed, largely due to a long-standing friendship (of more than twenty years) with our dear brother and friend, His Most Eminent Beatitude Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, that great hero of the Christian East, its tradition, heritage and ecumenical mission! He will always be known as a Father of this Church of yours and a great defender of the ecumenical mission of the Eastern Catholic Churches, that are in full communion with the Church of Rome that presides in charity and with the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, (who showed his love for the Christian East by holding the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops), while remaining faithful to the Eastern tradition and maintaining cordial relations with the Orthodox Churches that are our sisters, ever present in all ecumenical work.

We have come to strengthen our brotherly communion with this Church that we love and respect, through you, dear brother, Your Beatitude, Sviatoslav! I think that the Melkite Greek Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are both called to play a very significant role in ecumenical work, since they are the two largest Churches of the Byzantine rite (Greek and Slavonic) in communion with Rome.

We shall remain in contact with each other, since we ought to integrate our efforts for that greatest service to the Church and to the world, which is to realise Christ's prayer, "That they may be one...that the world may believe."

Axios! Eis polla eti, Sevasmiotate! Makariotate, mnohaya lita!

Gregorios III

Patriarch of Antioch and All the East

Of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

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