Melkite Archbishop sows the seeds of peace in Synagogue
Eparch of the Melkite Catholic Church of Australia and New Zealand Archbishop Issam John Darwish made an impassioned plea for peace at a tree planting ceremony at a Sydney synagogue.
Archbishop Darwish said he felt privileged to be a part of an esteemed group of people gathered for the sole purpose to plant an olive tree to mark a commitment to work together for peace.
"Our hope is for a a world full of peace, especially in Israel and Palestine," Archbishop Darwish said.
Originally an initiative of the NSW Council of Churches and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Archishop Darwish said an olive tree was also planted at his church in the name of each denomination; Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
"Since the early days, the olive tree was a blessed tree, symbolising the blessing and gifts from God to his people.
"Today, it has become a symbol of peace in the world. It was also the symbol of the spiritual heritage of the Jewish people.
"It is true that the planted olive tree is a symbol of peace amongst all people, but the true peace firstly begins in our hearts and minds, from within ourselves, when we reconcile with ourselves, we find peace.
"I believe that the peace starts when we all believe in our common human heritage and brotherhood and that is when we believe that humanity is one family belonging to God, where all people are equal."
Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Australia & New Zealand
4 Oct 2007