“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Message from Archbishop Abuna Elias Chacour

At this time, more than ever before, I include in the term friends much affection, much love, and my utmost appreciation. My life has changed drastically in the past week.

My Dear Friends,

At this time, more than ever before, I include in the term friends much affection, much love, and my utmost appreciation. My life has changed drastically in the past week. Although I sensed the things coming I was still surprised to be elected Archbishop of the largest Christian community in the Holy Land, the Melkite Catholic Church. The election lingered so long that I was praying constantly for it not to happen, but on February 7 the Holy Synod of the Melkite Church endorsed unanimously the decision of the Holy See. I had to accept the nomination and was consecrated on February 25th, surrounded by many thousands of people from all denominations and religions.

My responsibilities are not only doubled they are beyond what any single individual can take on himself. This is why I rely on our clergy and on thousands of our lay people who, despite all odds and problems, I want to say corruption inside the church, kept the dream alive and the vision as well. The responsibility is very complex because an Archbishop in this country is not only a religious leader for his flock but he is expected to be the leader of all the minorities. Since I am the first Archbishop to be born, brought up, educated, and consecrated in Israel there are so many expectations from the Jewish sector as well. And indeed I am personally aware of the vital and essential need to build bridges between all communities, I consider each and all of them as part of my community and my wider religious family, since we all consider ourselves to be the descendants of Abraham and believe in the one God of human dignity, peace, and justice.

This huge responsibility needs your support, your prayers, and your friendship. I did not give up my responsibility to Mar Elias Educational Institutions. MEEI is now an important center in the large diocese of Galilee (Israel). You have been extremely effective not only in helping materially and financially, but also in forming my personality, sharpening my sense of justice and integrity, and working towards peace and security. I pray and hope that your friendship will continue and will be intensified. I do have much more authority than before, I also have a deeper sense of responsibility towards creating the unity we so long have wanted through respect of the differences that for so long we have feared. I do hope that you will not give up on us now that we need you more than ever before.

Thank you for your prayers, your friendship, and your congratulations. We continue to walk the way together towards the Kingdom of God which we have to start now and here where each of us are, and very specially here in the Holy Land. I am still Abuna even though people call me Archbishop. One of the things I will miss most is to stand firm at 7:15 in the morning every day and greet all the children of the elementary school which I have done since we opened that school. I consider greeting every child another way of praying and praising God.

May the Lord give you peace that starts deep in our hearts.

Yours respectfully and gratefully,

Abuna Elias Chacour

Archbishop of Galilee

2016-10-24T07:29:53+00:00 March 4th, 2006|Categories: News|