Enthronization of John X, Patriarch of Antioch

Jesus doubtlessly weeps when he sees the Christian world divided and separated; he weeps when he sees ecumenism weakened in recent times. We must pray with Jesus and with all the brethren who belong to him "that they may be one” (Jn 17,1). We must also consider that this unity is a condition very necessary "so that the world may believe” (Jn 17,21) … We must work seriously so as to rebuild unity among the Churches, Eastern and Western, to revive practical cooperation among the faithful of these Churches, in pastoral work and service, to encourage dialogue for the sake of a better mutual acquaintance and to take courageous prophetic initiatives so that God may grant us, at a time that he wills, the grace of communion in the same chalice, so that thus we may answer those who ask about our faith: "Come and see” (Jn 1,46). Come and witness how our mutual love comes from our love for him who loved us first and who sacrificed himself for us.

God is not pleased when he sees our common life with those non-Christians who share with us the same homeland weaken for so many reasons, political or fundamentalist, because of us or of them. These fundamentalist reasons have nothing to do with religion. Love does not know fear or enmity, but is "magnanimous, well-wishing; it is not envious, it does not boast, it does not become puffed up with pride” (1Cor 13,4). Love is our symbol and our arms. We Antiochians are an Eastern Church whose roots are deep in our region and in our Arab East. We, with Muslims, our brothers, are the children of this land. In it the Lord has wanted us to be witnesses to his holy Name, and in it we must remain, encouraging co-existence with dignity and rejecting all hate, fear, and arrogance. Beloved Muslims, we and you are not only co-participants on earth and in destiny, we and you have built the culture of these lands and we have in common our culture and our history; for this reasons we must preserve this great patrimony. We are also co-participants in adoring the one God, the true God, Light of the earth and of the heavens …

My brethren, my children, our concern is to do God’s will… the goal of our See is that Jesus may not be ashamed of us. We must work with love and unity to arrive at this goal. Help us to arrive at this goal … 

  John X
      patriarch of Antioch
and of all the East