Intervention of Mons. Elias CHACOUR, Archbishop of Akka, Acre, Ptolemaid of the Greek-Melkites
They decided to survive and to continue their very special mission, following the
orders of their Compatriot, the Man from Galilee, Jesus from Nazareth. My Compatriot,
My Champion and my Parishioner. Luke 24/45-49 Acts 1/4-5 and very specially Mark
16/15 “Fear not little flock go in to all the world and preach the good news to all
creation”. Since then, my ancestors, started spreading around and everywhere the exciting
news revolving around an empty tomb and a RISEN MAN. We never stopped preaching this
exciting news. That is why Peter and Paul were sacrificed and killed here in Rome.
During the twenty past centuries our Christians from the Holy Land were like condemned
and privileged to share oppression, persecution and suffering with Christ. He is risen
but his cross is still high in our sky. Our Christianity is still hanging on that
terrible cross. They still live under daily threats from officials who dream continuing
the transfer of our minority, away from their lands, their homes, away from their
ancestral homeland. If it was not for Him, the cross would have been damned and hated. Centuries
long are gone loaded with our sufferings and our persecutions. But today our Holy
Father, Pope Benedict XVI called the Catholic Church and all Christians of good will
to divert their sight and to turn around, towards the remnant of the family of Christ.
We come over here to invite you all to reconsider your priorities regarding the Holy
Lands, and regarding its inhabitants. For sure the shrines and the Holy Places are.
important. The Franciscan brothers have been keen and loyal custodians and protectors
of the Holy Places. Being the archbishop of the largest Catholic Church in the
Holy Land, the Melkite Catholic Church, I insistently invite you and plead with the
Holy Father to give even more attention to the Living stones of the Holy land. Once
more, attention is given despite our unworthiness and undeservedly, we could restore
the smile of hope on the faces of our children. We then can have the tools and the
means to. We are in Galilee since immemorial times. Now we are in Israel. We want
to stay where we are, we need your friendship more than your money.