RAMALLAH – During a meeting with the representatives of the three Christian denominations of the Holy Sepulchre, president Mahmoud Abbas made a personal contribution to the restoration of the Aedicule.
The funding of the restoration of the Tomb comes mainly from the Catholic (represented by the Franciscans), the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian denominations who administer the Holy Sepulchre. The restoration, which started on May 8th, was also funded by His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan through a “makruma” or a royal benefaction.
On Monday October 17th, President Mahmoud Abbas received in the PA’s presidential headquarters HB Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem; Fr. Francesco Patton, Custos of the Holy Land; HB Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem.
“The Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre is a national and religious symbol for the Palestinian people,” affirmed president Abbas. “We have a duty to care, protect and contribute to the restoration of the Holy Sepulchre. Thus, we have decided to offer a personal contribution to the on-going restoration of the Tomb of Christ.”
Also present at the meeting were Mr. Hanna Amireh, Head of Presidential Committee on Church Affairs; Mr. Ziad Bandak, advisor to President Abbas on Christian affairs and Mr. Issa Kassissieh, Palestinian Ambassador to the Holy See.
The restoration works are expected to be completed before the Holy Week and Easter feasts in April, 2017 during which both Catholic and Orthodox Christians will celebrate at the same time.
Saher Kawas with Wafa News Agency
Photo: ©Thaer Ghanayem