Blessed are the Peacemakers — The Patriarch’s statement on the recent bombings in Syria


(Editors note: copied from the original here.)

A Statement Issued by the Patriarchates of Antioch and all the East for the Greek Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, and Greek-Melkite Catholic

Damascus, 14 April 2018

God is with us; Understand all ye nations and submit yourselves!

We, the Patriarchs: John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, Ignatius Aphrem II, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and Joseph Absi, Melkite-Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria, and Jerusalem, condemn and denounce the brutal aggression that took place this morning against our precious country Syria by the USA, France and the UK, under the allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. We raise our voices to affirm the following:

  1. This brutal aggression is a clear violation of the international laws and the UN Charter, because it is an unjustified assault on a sovereign country, member of the UN.
  2. It causes us great pain that this assault comes from powerful countries to which Syria did not cause any harm in any way.
  3. The allegations of the USA and other countries that the Syrian army is using chemical weapons and that Syria is a country that owns and uses this kind of weapon, is a claim that is unjustified and unsupported by sufficient and clear evidence.
  4. The timing of this unjustified aggression against Syria, when the independent International Commission for Inquiry was about to start its work in Syria, undermines of the work of this commission.
  5. This brutal aggression destroys the chances for a peaceful political solution and leads to escalation and more complications.
  6. This unjust aggression encourages the terrorist organizations and gives them momentum to continue in their terrorism.
  7. We call upon the Security Council of the United Nations to play its natural role in bringing peace rather than contribute to escalation of wars.
  8. We call upon all churches in the countries that participated in the aggression, to fulfill their Christian duties, according to the teachings of the Gospel, and condemn this aggression and to call their governments to commit to the protection of international peace.
  9. We salute the courage, heroism and sacrifices of the Syrian Arab Army which courageously protects Syria and provide security for its people. We pray for the souls of the martyrs and the recovery of the wounded. We are confident that the army will not bow before the external or internal terrorist aggressions; they will continue to fight courageously against terrorism until every inch of the Syrian land is cleansed from terrorism. We, likewise, commend the brave stand of countries which are friendly to the Syria and its people.

We offer our prayers for the safety, victory, and deliverance of Syria from all kinds of wars and terrorism. We also pray for peace in Syria and throughout the world, and call for strengthening the efforts of the national reconciliation for the sake of protecting the country and preserving the dignity of all Syrians.

Holy Week Services


Please join us this Holy Week at any (or all!) of the following services:

Wed 4 April6:30pm Service of Holy unction and anointing
Fri 6 April, 6:30pm Great Vespers for Good Friday and veneration of the Winding Sheet
Sat 7 April, 11:00pm Paschal Vigil and Divine Liturgy (reading from the Acts of the Apostles from 10pm)

Orthodox and visitors are equally welcome. Please contact us if you have any questions, or visit our Welcome page if you need to know where to find us.

Raising support for York Foodbank and Carecent


Dear Friends-in-Christ,

This is a note for those who couldn’t be with us last Sunday, and a reminder to those who were, that we are supporting the following charities during the Nativity period – from now until the end of December.

York Foodbank & Carecent York are in great need of the following –

Food items:
Dried milk, Long-life fruit juice / squash, Instant coffee, Teabags, Biscuits, Sponge puddings, Sweets / chocolate, Breakfast Cereal (all types), Tinned meat (corned beef, hot dogs and spam), Baked Beans, Tinned spaghetti, Tinned tomatoes, Sugar, Tinned fruit
Non-food items:
Cleaning products, Baby wipes/face wipes, Shampoo & conditioner, Shower gel, Toothpaste, Toothbrushes, Roll-on deodorants, Feminine products

There will also be cash collection box and the proceeds from that will be divided equally between:
Bundles of Joy York & International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC).

At a time when the feast of Our Lord’s birth is often forgotten in the rush to waste money on costly gifts and over-eating please remember those of our neighbours who have so little – and give generously whatever you can, recalling His parable of the contribution of the Poor Widow (Mark 12:41-44)

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Your prayers, please.
Fr. Michael