Jerusalem Patriarch Makes Visit to Refugee Camp in Jordan

On Monday, August 6, 2012, Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, and President of the Middle East Council of Churches, made a visit, presumably of a pastoral nature to the Syrian families who have sought sanctuary in the Al-Zaitari Refugee Camp, located a few miles north of the Jordanian city of Mafraq.

The well-known Greek patriarch, of a majority Arab church, heading a Middle Eastern ecumenical organization, visiting Syrian refugees in the Hashemite Kingdom (or dictatorship) of Jordan is an interesting event.

Obviously, on one situation in Syria, wherein government forces continue to battle Western supported Al-Quaedafreedom’ fighter, has caused a great deal of instability in the region.  Was Patriarch Theophilos’ visit purely a ‘moral duty’ as he claims? I think it is entirely possible; even the heterodox have a moral conscience (though, considering the machinations used to depose the last Patriarch of Jerusalem, one wonders..). However, it is no coincidence that a largely Greek dominated organization such as the JP must continue to make its presence known; especially since the majority of its membership (or traditionally the majority) has been Arabic, and as they have only one Arab bishop (?), and there have been disputes between Antioch and Jerusalem over this populace, it makes sense that Theophilos would attempt to put forth the face of concern.