His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem,
Greek Orthodox Patriarchate,
P.O. Box 14518,
zip code 91145
We write to you as the Executive Board of the International Council of Christians and Jews.
The most distressing news of the defacing with some horrid graffiti of the walls of the Monastery of the Cross in Jerusalem had reached us as we were sitting for our annual board meeting at the ICCJ headquarters at the Martin Buber House in Heppenheim, Germany.
We were dismayed by this deplorable attack on a holy site and by the pernicious assault upon Christians and Christianity. We condemn this in the strongest way possible and wish to express our solidarity with our Greek Orthodox brothers and sisters after this appalling incident. .
We applaud the gracious response of Father Claudio from Monastery who was quoted in the press saying: “I am a priest and I forgive.” We nevertheless express our hope that the Israeli authorities do not take this episode lightly and will pursue the matter until the criminals who perpetrated this repulsive crime are brought to justice.
Loyal to its mission, the ICCJ will continue to promote understanding and cooperation between Christians and Jews. We offer our hope and prayers that this abhorrent incident will not hamper our common efforts to bring about love and respect among all God’s children.
Dr Deborah Weissman