His Beatitude Ieronymos-II, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece visits the Holy Father
MA`ARAT SAYYIDNAYA, SYRIA: On the evening of Tuesday 25 January 2011, His Beatitude Ieronymos-II, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece and the accompanying delegation were given a warm welcome at the St. Ephrem Syriac Orthodox Monastery in Ma’arat Saydinnya, Damascus. His Holiness Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas the Patriarch of Antioch & All the East and the supreme head of the Universal Syriac Church, along with the Metropolitans and clergy of the holy Church received the delegation at the Monastery hall. Later the delegation was welcomed to the St. Peter & St. Paul’s Cathedral where a special meeting was convened in honour of the visiting Archbishop. His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed , Minister of Awqaf (Religious Endowments) who arrived there on a special invitation from His Holiness was accompanied by a galaxy of Muslim scholars and directors of various institutions and colleges in Damascus. The Ambassador of Greece to Damascus, bishops and heads of Christian communities in Damascus, and some of the elders of the Syriac community in Damascus also participated in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister H.E. Mohammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyed recalled the significant role of Syria in building the human civilization adding to its prosperity.
The Minister highlighted the importance of spreading the culture of dialogue and exchange of ideas and strengthening the concept of religious fraternity and its role in spreading peace, security and stability in the world. Welcoming the delegation His Holiness the Patriarch emphasized the importance of the visit of Archbishop Ieronymos II in activating warm relations between the churches in Syria and Greece. His Holiness requested for further cooperation between the Churches so that wider ecumenical forum can be formed. Archbishop Ieronymos II, in turn, agreed with Patriarch on the significance of enhancing dialogue and sharing ideas between the churches in the two countries in a spirit of amity to serve the interests of their friendly peoples. H.B. also recalled the historical relations between the two Churches and stressed the need for continuous interaction. Metropolitans Their Eminences Mor Osthatheos Matta Rohum, Mor Silwanus Petrus, Mor Titus Yeldo, Mar Philexinos Mattias Nais, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Mor Dionysius Yuahnon Kawaq, Mar Ivanios Paulos, and Mar Dionysius Behnan Jajawi, and a large number of priests and monks and students of the Faculty of Theology were also present during the meeting.