Patriarch Theophilos: Jerusalem Patriarchate is the Mother of all Churches
Patriarch Theophilos III declared that the Church of Jerusalem is the Mother of all Churches and the guarantor of pan-Orthodox unity.
On May 16, 2019, the head of the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, Patriarch Theophilos, met with a delegation of the Imperial Orthodox Palestinian Society (IOPS), which arrived in Jerusalem to attend the first International seminar of regional and foreign branches and representative offices of IOPS, devoted to the 200th anniversary of diplomatic support of the Russian presence in the Middle East.
In his welcoming speech, the text of which was published on the official website of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, His Beatitude Patriarch highly appreciated the importance of such seminars "at a time when our Christian witness is so important for supporting the vibrant Christian presence in the Holy Land and the Middle East," and stressed that the Jerusalem Patriarchate "also promotes an important interfaith dialogue."
“The Jerusalem Church, which is the Mother of all Churches, is the guarantor of the unity of the Orthodox Church,” said Patriarch Theophilos. “We especially recognize the role that the Russian Orthodox Church has played down the centuries, especially during the Ottoman period, in supporting the Jerusalem Church politically, diplomatically and, of course, financially.”
At the same time, Patriarch Theophilos noted that there were difficult times in the relations between the Jerusalem and Russian Churches, “which tested our relationship”, nevertheless, one needs to learn from the past and work toward strengthening the Orthodox unity.
“We must always speak and act in such a way as to support the life and mission of the Jerusalem Patriarchate in this region. We are the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and we are under a moral as well as spiritual obligation to ensure that the identity and witness of the Orthodox Church in the Holy Land and the Middle East rests on the unshakable foundation of our Orthodox unity,” concluded the Primate of the Jerusalem Church.
Recall that at the meeting with the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, Jerusalem Patriarch Theophilos III expressed support for the UOC and its faithful in Ukraine.