“The Easter message renews the hope of Christians”
Jerusalem – On the occasion of the Orthodox Easter, the various representatives of the Christian communities of Jerusalem, among which the Latin Patriarch Emeritus, Bishop Michael Sabbah, were welcomed by His Beatitude, Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch, on Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Together they proclaimed that Christ is risen! The message of the Resurrection of Jesus, according to the April 15 Message of Pope Benedict XVI to the Heads of the Middle Eastern Churches, “is the reason of hope for all humanity”, and for all Christians, especially in those parts of the world “where they are victims of violence” and where they suffer injustice.
“Happy Easter! Christ is risen!” With these words, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch emeritus of Jerusalem, in the absence of Patriarch Fouad Twal, presently in Rome for the Grand Magisterium of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, started Easter wishes of the Churches and Ecclesial communities of Jerusalem to the Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Theophilos III. This message does not fail to be repeated since the first celebration of Easter held in the Holy Sepulchre on Saturday, April 7, 2012 by the Latin Church.
Saturday, April 14, 2012, the Greek Orthodox faithful held their celebration of Easter. So Christian representatives of Jerusalem gathered on Tuesday at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to reassert this happy news, “notwithstanding the difficult context” in the Holy Land. These wishes are an echo of the April 15 message of Pope Benedict XVI to the Heads of the Middle East Christian Churches on the occasion of the Orthodox Easter. In that event, he emphasized that “the news of the Resurrection message resounds with a power still greater when we announce it together”. He added “the Paschal announcement can strengthen the faith of all Christians and renew their hope, especially in those parts of the world where they are victims of violence, and giving peace and consolation to those suffering because of suffering, sickness, injustice, hunger and poverty in this our difficult epoch”.
This is a “common witness in truth and charity” to which the Holy Father appeals. And it has never been so present as in this moment in which the Bishops of the Middle Easter, among whom Patriarch Twal, are gathered in Lebanon for a Seminar on “communication as an instrument of evangelization, dialogue and peace in the Middle East”.