Developments in the Middle East are “accelerating, the future is unknown and indefinite”, stated Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, who arrived in Cyprus today for a four-day official visit. Patriarch Theophilos mentioned that the aim of the official visit is not solely aimed at renewing historical, brotherly ecclesiastical ties between the Churches of Jerusalem and Cyprus, but, he stated that, “it is aimed at a more specific purpose, our concern for Christians in the Middle East, which is known to be going through a political and social crisis”.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem added that, at the initiative of Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, the Council of Churches in the Middle East was reinstated, with an objective to contribute to pastoral care and the protection of Christians scattered across the Middle East.
Moreover, Patriarch Theophilos mentioned that his visit in Cyprus will provide an opportunity to discuss other issues regarding, not only the relation of the two Churches, but the role of the Eastern Orthodox Church in general. Chrysostomos of Cyprus stressed that peace should reign over the countries of the Middle East and added that everyone should contribute towards the dawn of better days in the region.
The official welcome of the Patriarch of Jerusalem was conducted through doxology service officiated at the St. John Cathedral in Nicosia.
Patriarch Theophilos will be received by the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christophias and will lay the cornerstone for the building of the Exarchate of the Holy Sepulcher in Nicosia. On Sunday, the primates of the Churches of Cyprus and Jerusalem will celebrate liturgy.
Photo: Associated Press
Source: ANA- MPA