Patriarchate News

On July 26th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over Evening (ramsho) prayer at the 54th Convention in Northern America in Tampa – USA.
Their Eminences: Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Eastern USA, and Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar for the Western USA, Mor Dioscorus Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, as well as the clergy of both Archdioceses, and faithful, attended the prayer.
At the end of the prayer, His Holiness blessed all the faithful who were present.
 

On July 26th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the clergy meeting of the two Archdioceses of the USA at the 54th Annual Convention held in Tampa.
Their Eminences: Mor Dionysius John Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Eastern USA, and Mor Clemis Eugene Kaplan, Patriarchal Vicar for the Western USA, Mor Dioscorus Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, attended the meeting.
His Holiness opened the meeting with a spiritual word in which he spoke about the challenges of our church in the east and in the diaspora. He encouraged the clergy to reshape their service in a way that can be more open, more prophetic, and more missionary. His Holiness underlined the need to preserve our heritage in the diaspora, and never giving up our identity.
His Holiness then answered the questions of the clergy and gave his guidance to help them through the different challenges of their pastoral ministry.
 

On Tuesday July 24th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Mr. Antoine Laham, Assistant to the Special UN Envoy to Syria Mr. Staffan de Mistura, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh.
Mr. Laham updated His Holiness about the work of the office in Syria. His Holiness stressed the importance of reaching a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Syria as well as all the crises in the region and all over the world. His Holiness also noted the important role of the Church during the crisis, and spoke about all the relief and help projects executed by our Patriarchate to provide aid to all Syrian people equally.
The meeting was attended by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 

On July 19th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended “Sure we can” play, which was prepared by Sabro team under the auspices of the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, at Dar Al-Assad for Culture and Art in Damascus.
Children from different orphanages in Damascus participated in the play, namely from: Panteleimon, St. Paul, Dar Al-rahma, and the Little Angel House orphanages. Sabro team, of St. Jacob Baradeaus Church in Jaramana, helped the children discover and enrich their gifts with the help of teachers from the High Institute of Arts for nearly one complete year. The play included various scenes that showed the children’s talents such as acting, singing, dancing, playing the violin and drawing.
At the end, His Holiness gave a word in which he congratulated Sabro Team and all the children for their great work. He considered that the play is the fruit of this work; however, the thing which is more important is that the team has enriched the children’s talents, a sign of hope for a better future for them. His Holiness noted that the word Sabro (ܣܒܪܐ) in Syriac holds a deep meaning; it is not only that one should have hope, but also share it and give it to others. He assured that “Sure we can” is slogan for all of us especially in Syria where hope was revealed throughout the years of crisis. His Holiness considered that wars aim at making man lose his hope; however, we have made certain that together “sure we can” defeat all such trials. The work of this team, His Holiness added, is clear evidence that hope and love will prevail. He added that seeing these children, from various religious and social backgrounds, participating together in this event is also a vivid sign for a better future in Syria.
The event was attended by political figures, dignitaries, artists, and a crowd of people.
 

On July 18th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from Elamkulam Church in India, at the Patriarchal Residence in Atchaneh.
The delegation was headed by His Eminence Mor Dioscoros Kuriakose, Metropolitan of the Simahasana Churches in the North of Kerala and Abbot of Malecuriz Dayro.
His Holiness discussed with the delegation matters related to their church.
 

On July 18th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II offered his condolences to His Brother in Christ His Beatitude and Eminence Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, Maronite Patriach of Antioch and All the East, on the passing away of his sister Mrs. Farha Al-Rai, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bkerki.

He was accompanied by their Eminences Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dioscoros Kuriakose, Metropolitan of the Simahasana Churches in the North of Kerala and Abbot of Malecuriz Dayro, Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar of Canada, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Raban Cyril Babi, Director of the Department of Legal Affairs and Spiritual Courts.

His Excellency Archbishop Paul Sayyah, Vicar General of the Maronite Church, was present
His Holiness, His Beatitude, and their Eminences and Excellency raised special prayer that her soul may rest in peace.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On July 11th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the Syrian Social Nationalist Party headed by Mr. Antoine Isper, Head of the Political Office in Damascus, and Mr. Asaad Al-Amiri, Central Iraqi Delegate, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
During their meeting, His Holiness and his guests discussed the recent issues in Syria, Iraq, and the region.
Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, attended the meeting.
 

On July 10th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received at the Patriarchate in Bab Touma, His Excellency Mr. Achilles Zaluar, Ambassador of Brazil to Damascus, at the end of his diplomatic mission in Syria.
His Excellency thanked His Holiness for his warm reception and recalled the good and steadfast ties between Brazil and the Syriac Orthodox Church.
His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II appreciated the important role of His Excellency in promoting peace in Syria. His Holiness also wished His Excellency all success in his new mission.
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 also attended the meeting.
His Excellency was accompanied by Dr. Rafli Kardous.
 

After the Prayer Meeting in Bari, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, as well as all their Holinesses and Beatitudes, moved back to the Basilica of St. Nicholas, where they held a closed meeting concerning the situations in the Middle East.
During their meeting, their Holinesses and Beatitudes discussed ways and means to ensure safe stay for Christians in the Middle East, and emphasized the importance of reaching peaceful solutions for the different crises in the region and all over the world.
In his word, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II noted that he fails to understand the position of the west in general, but also many churches in the west, concerning the presence and suffering of Christians in the Middle East. He assured that the church is not with or against governments, but is always with the country and the people, and works for justice. His Holiness considered that actions should be taken towards raising the sanctions that are imposed on Syria, because they are not against the government but against people who are suffering in their movement, food and medicine, etc. Moreover, He wished that Christian solidarity will be realized actually, and that support and help for Christians will be provided equally to all Christians without discrimination based on denomination.
 

On July 7th 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in the Prayer Meeting hosted by His Holiness Pope Francis in the city of Bari – Italy, along with the Heads of Middle Eastern Churches.
Their Holinesses and Beatitudes Patriarchs of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem, also participated in the prayer.
His Holiness Pope Francis greeted their Holinesses and Beatitudes outside the Basilica of St. Nicholas and together they descended to the crypt to pray before the relics and light a flame for peace symbolizing the unity of Christians. They then moved to the Esplanade where a place was prepared for the prayer to take place.
In his Introductory Address at the Prayer Meeting, His Holiness Pope Francis considered that “we are carrying in our hearts our Churches, our peoples and all those living in situations of great suffering. We are saying to them, ‘We are close to you’”. He considered that from the Middle East “the light of faith spread throughout the world.” He noted that “There is also the danger that the presence of our brothers and sisters in the faith will disappear, disfiguring the very face of the region. For a Middle East without Christians would not be the Middle East.”
His Holiness Pope Francis concluded: “Indifference kills; and we desire to lift up our voices in opposition to this murderous indifference. We want to give a voice to those who have none, to those who can only wipe away their tears. For the Middle East today is weeping, suffering and silent as others trample upon those lands in search of power or riches.”
After that, the Prayer Meeting was held. All heads of Churches gathering in Bari raised the prayer together for peace. His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II prayed in Syriac and English the following prayer:
“Blessed be Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Only–Begotten of the Father, announced by the prophets as Prince of Peace, born of a woman in Bethlehem of Judea: by his blood he reconciled Abel and Cain, he knocked down the dividing wall and he made the two peoples one; risen from the dead, as his first gift to his disciples, he gave peace. The same peace we ask for his two servants the kidnapped archbishops of Aleppo Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim together with the kidnapped priests that they may return to us safe.”
At the end of the prayer, their Holinesses and Beatitudes lit candles for peace.
His Holiness our Patriarch was accompanied by 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.