Archbishop Elias Chacour

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Archbishop Elias Chacour

Click here for an up to date interview with Archbishop Elias Chacour made during his recent visit to the US in January 2013.

Previous videos shown here have been moved to the bottom of this page.

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abuna-pope-francis-a-oct-2016-2

Pope Francis welcomes Archbishop Elias Chacour Em to the Vatican. October 2016

Elias Chacour Melkite (Greek Catholic) Archbishop Em of Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and all Galilee, a prominent campaigner for peace through justice between Israeli Jews and Arabs, working through a process of reconciliation through education and establishing good relationships across the divide.  He is widely known in the west as ‘Abuna’, the Arabic word meaning ‘our father’ by which all Catholic priests are addressed, and in the east now as ‘Sayidna’ the Arabic address to an Archbishop.

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 True peace cannot be achieved unless peace is established in the human mind

Archbishop Chacour’s work in progressing peace amongst peoples in the Holy Land has been acknowledged worldwide.  He was awarded Japan’s prestigious Buddhist Niwano Peace Prize in 2001 “for his dedication to peace through the means of education. We commend Rev. Chacour’s significant achievements to date and pray that numerous others will be inspired to follow in his footsteps”. The full reasons why Archbishop Chacour’s peacebuilding work was recognised and his acceptance speech can be found on the Niwano website.

The first building on Mar Elias Campus completed in 1982, Church of the Sermon on the Mount in the background.
© A. Flear

The educational establishments built by Archbishop Chacour are open to all and are his response to the despair his Arab population suffered after the creation of the state of Israel.  Although still second class citizens, the Archbishop, his staff and the thousands of young people who have been educated by him are enlightened in the way of non-violence and perseverance.  Having the dignity an excellent education brings, they are persistent in asking for equality and justice within the Jewish state.  The schools have Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Druze teachers and invite close relations with Jewish schools.  Promoting the joint education of Palestinian and Jewish children is the slow but certain path to peace and has been recognised as such in the great number of peace awards the Archbishop has received worldwide over the years.

Inter religious exchange at the Church of the Sermon on the Mount, Ibillin with Jews, Muslims, Druze and Bahai
© Mazur/catholicnews.org.uk

His first two autobiographical books ‘Blood Brothers and ‘We Belong to the Land‘ relate a fascinating idyllic childhood in a remote Arab Christian village in upper Galilee interrupted by the traumatic deportation of the entire village  to make way for a kibbutz and  the dramatic early years of his priesthood and work in peace and reconcilliation.

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Videos of interviews with Archbishop Chacour

1.  Click here for An Interview with Archbishop Elias Chacour (2010)

‘Inner Compass’ produced by Calvin College, USA, is a series of programmes exploring how people use faith and ethics to guide them through critical issues today. To view the 27 minute Inner Compass programme of Archbishop Elias Chacour in conversation with Shirley Hoogstra of Calvin College click the title above.

2.  Archbishop Elias Chacour, Archbishop of Akko, Haifa and Galilee (Israel) spoke at Global Reconciliation’s “Pathways to Reconciliation Summit” in Amman, Jordan. 2009.  To see the 10 minute video of his address to the assembly click HERE.

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Archbishop Chacour’s most recent visits to lecture in the UK were:

2014 April – Wales, Cardiff, CTBI Conference – Christianity, Continuity, Presence and Conflict

2011 July – England, Aylesford Priory, Brightlights Festival

2010 July – Scotland, Edinburgh, Festival of Spirituality

2007 October – England, Westminster Cathedral, Aid to the Church in Need

© Ashray 2012

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