Department for the social communication.
Disturbances and reciprocal aggressions between armenian and orthodox, within the holy sepulchre in jerusalem.
The Orthodox Church of Portugal regrets and repudiates the serious and unacceptable aggressions occurred in the past November 9, 2008, within of Holy Sepulchre's Church – one of the Holiest and most beloved Places of the Holy Land – in Jerusalem.
There is not any reason – within the Orthodox Church – allowing or authorizing the interruption of a Liturgical Service; and what is valid for us should be also similar for the other ones. We cannot handle two weights and two measures. The Armenian Christians were celebrating their Liturgical Feast… they should not be interrupted.
Any claiming position on behalf of the Orthodox Christians regarding to lawful rights that would be violated and defrauded by the Armenian religious confession, they should and would obligatorily be conducted and solved outside the Holy Sepulchre, in the appropriate Instances for that situation.
The Canon (Church Law) is very explicit regarding to the application of penalties on priests which, being ornamented and in the middle of the Liturgical celebration, fulfil physical or verbal aggression … Suspension and Deposition of the Priesthood (with consecutive reduction to the layman – civil – state) are obligatorily the applicable canonical sanctions, due to so great seriousness.
Intolerance and violence are not means through which one can prevail his legitimate rights, whatever human framework in doesn’t matter which horizon.
The Holy Sepulchre is a Holy Place in which only Peace and Christ's Love can irradiate. Any acts not elapsing of these two premises – in the strict respect and in full conformity with the same ones – are reprehensible and inauspicious, such as the occurred ones in the past November 9 at Jerusalem.
The example for the world, given by Orthodox and Armenian Christians, in the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, is a leaven of intransigence and impatience in which the fanatic factions are feeding.
If this is supposed to be the model of Peace, Love, Tolerance, Patience and Fraternal sociability between Christians, then what can we demand of the non Christians, the atheists, the gnostics, or the agnostics, etc…?
- Do we have legitimacy of speaking to the world on the need of Peace and Love, when war and hate are settled in our heart and lead us to frightful, sordid and vile acts as the above referred? And in which ones neither Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Love nor Peace may be glimmered?
We appeal to all the ones who were the protagonists of these horrendous and unfortunate terror acts – in one of the most Holy and Symbolic Places of the whole Holy Land – for them to forgive each other and look for a healthy cohabitation – in an already so whipped territory by conflicts, contentions and everyday discords – giving the indispensable example of tolerance by the world demanded from us while Christians.
The Orthodox Church of Portugal prays for all the unfortuned promoters and agents of those unhappy events, so that they refind in their hearts the Peace of Christ, which one – in the Holy Sepulchre - Spouts, Shouts and Cries out of the empty grave where The Lord Our God and Saviour Jesus Christ beated definitively death, in the peaceful fulfilment of His Saving Mission on behalf of all Men and Women who follow his Teaching.
The Orthodox Church of Portugal also asks the pardon of all the ones who suffered with violence, the shock and disturb, of such harmful images hoping the same ones do not glimpse nor find any reasons for mockery but only and exclusively reasons for forgiving all the ones that – on November 9, 2008 – didn't know how to rise, as it was asked of them, as an example of Peace, Love, Sensibleness, Prudence and Good Sense.
METROPOLITAN JOHN, PRIMATE OF PORTUGAL