WASHINGTON (January 22, 1998) -- The Chairman of the U.S. Catholic Conference International Policy Committee today released a letter from the Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem expressing the Patriarch's gratitude for the support of the Church in the United States.
Patriarch Michel Sabbah's letter came in response to a December 19 message from Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick of Newark in which he sent "heartfelt congratulations" on the re-establishment of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem. "We salute you, our mother Church, and pray that God in his goodness will bless you abundantly for your faithful witness in the Holy Land," Archbishop McCarrick had said.
"I thank you for your kind letter and felicitations on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the reestablishment of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem," said Patriarch Sabbah.
The special significance and dignity of Jerusalem in the history of the Church resulted in its being given the status of a patriarchate by the Council of Chalcedon in 451. It later became a patriarchate in name only but was re-established as such by Pope Pius IX in 1847.
"At this occasion, we, too, express our gratitude towards the Catholic Church of the United States which did so much and is still doing in order to give fraternal support to our pastoral service, for the good of our faithful and all the country, and especially in the field of social development and peace ...," the Patriarch said.