Patriarch Theophilos’ Letter Inviting the Patriarch Bartholomew to Jordan

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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem

No. 1195

His All Holiness

Bartholomew

Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch

Turkey

—————–

Dear Brother in Christ,

We greet you warmly from the Holy Tomb of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Throughout the centuries, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem has functioned to maintain our Orthodox unity in the Holy Land, often in the face of great challenges, and always ensuring, with the grace of God, that the proper diversity, which characterizes the cultures and histories of our various autocephalous sister churches, finds a deep and enduring unity in our common faith.

We feel it to be of utmost importance, with every effort aimed at reconciliation and peace, that together we strive towards, and uphold fervently, our Orthodox unity; for it is of profound importance not just to ourselves but as a living witness – martyria – to the world.

Abiding by the Holy Canons of the Church, We respect and uphold the role, position and status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the privilege of seniority of Your All Holiness, dear brother in Christ. Our anguish is for the crisis, that our Orthodox Church is passing through, not to deepen any further; and thus it is the sincere consideration to make available for Your All Holiness and the rest of our brother Primates of the Orthodox Church, the venue and ability to convene and gather in the spirit of fraternal love and fellowship – koinonia – so that counsel may be taken together for the preservation of our unity in Eucharistic communion.

As it has played similar roles in the past, and during different tenures through the Church’s history, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, guardian of the Church of the Resurrection and the Tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ, is laying a bridge for its sister Orthodox Churches to walk and stand together in these most testing of times.

It is within this prayerful context that We open Our home in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, for hosting this “fraternal gathering in love.” We wish the Almighty Lord to bestow on us the ability to congregate, by the end of February and before the start of Holy Lent, so that together we may be a witness to the Church, and to the world, of the unity of the Orthodox Church and our Orthodox faith.

As the Lord Jesus Christ himself prayed for his disciples:

“Father… I ask… that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

[John 17.20-23]

With fraternal love in our Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ,

THEOPHILOS III

PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM

Holy City of Jerusalem

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

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