Patriarchate News

On Sunday October 21, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.
He was assisted by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Very Rev. Fr. Patrick, Director of Barnabas Fund foundation.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the importance of readiness, especially that of a priest who is responsible for the salvation of his soul as well as that of all his parish. His Holiness invited the faithful to not focus on what is for the flesh, for the Lord is Faithful to give all who ask from His grace. He also spoke about watchfulness, instructing all to care for what is above with the Lord, and forget about what is below. His Holiness added that we are called to use our gifts and abilities for the glory of God’s Name, and learn from the parable of the fool rich, who, despite working hard and with loyalty, focused on this life and forgot to think about eternal life. His Holiness considered that this life gives us the opportunity to work for our salvation and that of the others. He invited all to trade wisely to win eternal life and build for themselves houses in heaven.
His Holiness then welcomed Fr. Patrick, noting his efforts in serving the church, especially through charity work.
He finally announced the opening of the academic year at Antioch Syrian University, thanking the Lord for this great grace, and praying for ASU to be a great center for education.
 

His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Eminence Mor Athanasius Geevarghese, Metropolitan of the Simhasana Churches in South Kerala and Abbot of Mor Ignatius Dayro, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh. His Eminence was accompanied by a delegation from the Simhasana Churches. 

His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matthew, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, attended the meeting. 

His Holiness discussed with His Eminence the situation of our church in India and gave the delegation his blessings and prayers.

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On October 16th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited the Foundation of the Religious Sciences – Pope John XXIII, in Bologna – Italy.
His Holiness was received by Prof. Alberto Melloni, Director of the Foundation, in the presence of the Catholic Archbishop of Bologna Mgr. Matteo Zuppi.
His Holiness made a tour in the library of the foundation, which contains images of old Syriac manuscripts.
Later, His Holiness gave a word before the scholars and phd students in which he spoke about the Syriac Church history and the importance of building academic bridged and links between the East and the West, in addition to the significance of working on making the oriental studies known to the international academic society.
His Holiness was accompanied by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriachal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 

On October 14th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the Opening Assembly of the International Meeting for Peace “Bridges of Peace. Religions and Cultures in Dialogue” organized by the community of Sant’Egidio in Bologna – ITALY.

During the opening, His Holiness had an intervention in which he considered that “the building of bridges of peace is not a choice for us to make, but rather a necessity to engage in for the sake of our future together and the safe future of our human race and our world.” He noted that we should build bridges of peace that strengthen the unity among all the people of God, stand strong against division and hatred, empower all against terrorism and fanaticism, accept diversity and encourage co-existence, connect East and West, and go beyond gender, race, or religion to reach the more sublime goal common to all, which is the wellbeing of all of God’s creation.

“As good Christians”, His Holiness added “we are compelled to, not only embrace the culture of love and peace-building, but also to spread it around us. In fact, we are specifically called to be makers of peace, ‘Blessed are the makers of peace, for they shall be called the children of God’ (Matthew 5: 9)”.

He noted the three aspects of peace: the peace within, peace with God, and peace with the other. He considered that “true peace starts from within our hearts”; however, he marked that “Inner peace is the result of a true Christian way of life […] (it) is the result of a total reconciliation with God and the fruit of a healthy relationship with Him”. “True peace” His Holiness added “is achieved when we go beyond the self and reach out to our fellow humans trying to bring them peace […] When there is peace to him who is far and to him who is near (cf. Isaiah 57: 19), then the whole world will be in peace”.

Speaking about destruction and war in the name of peace, His Holiness highlighted that “what is more alarming is that, nowadays, wars and conflicts are encouraged and fought in the name of freedom, democracy, justice and peace!!”

His Holiness concluded: “Without peace, there will be no future for humanity. Let us all be architects of peace and build bridges of peace. May God bless this world of us with peace and harmony.”

His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar in the Archdiocese of Eastern United States, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

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On October 9th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and their Eminences Archbishops members of the Holy Synod of our Syriac Orthodox Church, visited His Excellency General Michel Aoun, President of the Republic of Lebanon, at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.

His Holiness gave a word in which he spoke about the mission of the Holy Synod. He also expressed his support to His Excellency in making Lebanon a center for religious dialogue. His Holiness also spoke about the great role of Lebanon in preserving Christianity in the Middle East.

His Excellency then welcomed His Holiness and their Eminences wishing them the best for the synod. He then talked about the importance of real dialogue in reaching peace, and the significance of education in this field. This is why he is working on creating and International Academy for Religious Dialogue in Lebanon, so that the culture of peace may be spread in Lebanon and through it all over the world.

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Upon the invitation of His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod of our Syriac Orthodox Church started its sessions at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon. Their Eminences Archbishops and Patriarchal Vicars of our Syriac Archdioceses from all over the world are attending the Holy Synod.

The Holy Synod was inaugurated with a Holy Qurobo celebrated by His Holiness; He and their Eminences prayed for the faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church in the world; they prayed also for peace in Syria, and remembered the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, asking God that they return safe soon.

After the Holy Qurobo, works of the Holy Synod started with an opening session.

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On October 8th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Eminence Archbishop Nareg Alyemezian, Armenian Orthodox Primate of the Diocese of Lebanon, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh – Lebanon.

His Holiness congratulated His Eminence for his new office. They discussed issues related to the dialogue between the various churches.

His Eminence Nareg invited delivered to His Holiness an invitation to take part in the celebration organized by the Catholicosate of Cilicia for the for the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia.

Their Eminences: Mor Julius Abdelahad Shabo, Archbishop of Sweden and Scandinavia, Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar for the Western USA, Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mor Mattai Monastery, Mor Titus Boulos Touza, Apostolic Nuncio to the Evangelical Churches in Brazil, and Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, as well as Very Rev Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Raban Aphrem Lahdo, Assistant to the Archbishop of Sweden and Scandinavia, attended the meeting.

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On October 5, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the official opening of the friendly football championship organized by the Suryoyo Patriarchal Youth Department (SPYD) at Al-Nidal playground in Damascus.
Very Rev. Raban Jack Yakoub, Director of SPYD, welcomed His Holiness and thanked him for blessing the championship by his personal presence. He also welcomed the 32 teams participating in the championship from five different governorates in Syria. He also spoke about the goals of the championship, mainly strengthening the love and respect bonds between children of the various churches.
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Jazeera and Euphrates, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Deacon Imad Syryany.
 

On October 4th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the meeting of the organizations and committees of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, as well as the clergy of the diocese.
His Holiness opened the meeting with a prayer. He then spoke about the role of all organizations and committees of the Church, which is glorifying the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and preaching His Holy Gospel.
He also spoke about the important aspect of these organizations as preservers of the Christian presence in Syria, as well as witnesses of our Lord Jesus.
His Holiness concluded with raising prayer to the Lord to bless all His servants.
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury thanked His Holiness for his continuous and direct care to the patriarchal archdiocese. He then spoke about the items on the agenda which were later discussed thoroughly.
 

On October 2nd 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with members of the organizing committee of the Suryoyo Youth Global Gathering (SYGG 2019) which will be held next year in Sweden.
During the meeting, His Holiness listened from them about the preparations and programs being made for the gathering. He gave them his instructions and ideas for the success of the gathering.
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, attended the meeting.