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Each chapter of Faithful Witness, a collection of Michel Sabbah's essential writings, contains a theme developed during his twenty-year tenure as Patriarch of Jerusalem. Beginning with “Reading the Bible in the Land of the Bible,” Faithful Witness proceeds from God's Grace and the Nativity to Lent and Jesus' Resurrection. In between, Patriarch Sabbah addresses other important topics, including the role of the Church in the Holy Land, Jerusalem, ecumenism, Christian-Muslim dialogue and Palestinian-Israeli ...
Each chapter of Faithful Witness, a collection of Michel Sabbah's essential writings, contains a theme developed during his twenty-year tenure as Patriarch of Jerusalem. Beginning with “Reading the Bible in the Land of the Bible,” Faithful Witness proceeds from God's Grace and the Nativity to Lent and Jesus' Resurrection. In between, Patriarch Sabbah addresses other important topics, including the role of the Church in the Holy Land, Jerusalem, ecumenism, Christian-Muslim dialogue and Palestinian-Israeli relations.
“For anyone who wants to understand the complex status quo of the Holy Land today, this careful and thoughtful selection from the work and teaching of Patriarch Sabbah is a useful and most insightful guide. The first Palestinian to be called to the dignity and the challenging ministry of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, this brilliant and courageous religious leader has been for 20 years a father to his community and a test to his adversaries. As you read his words … you see a man … who never gives up hope that the power of God will ultimately bring a new day of harmony to this land where the ancient prophets lived and died and where the children of Abraham—Jewish, Christian and Muslim—must find a way to live in peace together.”
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Ph.D., D.D.
Archbishop Emeritus of Washington
Patriarch Sabbah's inclusive vision embraces all peoples, including Palestinians and Israelis. He courageously extends himself to open dialogue with leaders who do not share his vision of “peace with justice.” His friendship and conversations with Palestinian and Israeli leaders do not diminish his objectivity, search for dialogue and truth and calls for peacemaking, peace building and reconciliation.
Posted February 12, 2009
Faithful Witness is an excellent resource for individuals and groups wishing to better understand the religious and political aspects of the Middle East conflict and the role of the Catholic Church in seeking a peaceful and just settlement.<BR/><BR/>In their introduction, editors Christiansen and Sarsar briefly review the life and work of Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the first Arab to serve as Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in modern times. The 20 chapters of text are composed of Sabbah's words, taken from his pastoral letters, articles, homilies, and other documents. Themes include the role of the Church in the Holy Land, Christian-Muslim dialogue, and Palestinian-Israeli relations. <BR/><BR/>In a 2003 essay, Patriarch Sabbah posed two questions: Do religious roots in the land give believers a political right? Does religion permit violence in defense of the religion itself or the land considered holy? His answer was that religious access and free worship in the land is a right, but political rights are subject to international law. The alliance between religion, war, and violence, he wrote, "contradicts the nature of religion and its fundamental role." Regardless of our beliefs, "religion should be a factor of reconciliation" and an obstacle to war and violence.<BR/><BR/>On Pentecost of 2004, the patriarch spoke of the Holy Land's being "profaned" by people who saw others as enemies, not to be received as children of God. As Christians, he said, we feel concern for the death of every human being, Israelis and Palestinians and for the "poor, weak, and oppressed" whose homes are destroyed. He warned against hiding behind the complexity of the situation, and offered a simple solution: Both Israelis and Palestinians should live in peace and security. Killing and occupation are evil.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.