Patriarchate News

On April 16, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the meeting of the general assembly of Antioch Syrian University, at Sayfo Hall at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

The meeting was attended by their Eminences: Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, Dr. Rakan Razzouk, President of ASU, as well as the members of the assembly.

His Holiness presented an overview about the strategic plan of ASU, its vision, mission, and values. Dr. Razzouk also talked about the stages that ASU passed through since its establishment, as well as its relation and collaboration with other local and international universities. He also spoke about the Academic programs of ASU and future plans. Members of the assembly discussed then the agenda of the meeting.

Click to view slideshow.
 

On April 14, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with the High Presidential Commission for Church Affairs in Palestine headed by Dr. Ramzi Khoury, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazerah and Euphrates, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
The Commission congratulated His Holiness for the occasion of the coming feasts, as well as for the consecration of new Archbishop Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands. Speaking about the situations in Palestine, members of the Commission considered that there is a plan to weaken the presence of Christians, as well as Muslims, in the country. They wished that the Churches would raise their voices once again for Jerusalem.
 
His Holiness expressed his happiness for the consecration of a new Archbishop Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands. He reassured the Church’s clear stand by the side of the liberation of Palestine. He emphasized the necessity to support the cause of Palestine and preserve the presence of Christians in the Holy Lands.
 

On April 11, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited Umm el-Jimal archeological town in Jordan. He was accompanied by their Eminences the Archbishops.
The village is known for the very old Churches that were present in it, especially Syriac Orthodox Churches.
 
His Holiness prayed the Services (Teshmeshto) of the Virgin Mary and the Saints, in the place.Click to view slideshow.

 

On April 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at Mor Aphrem Cathderal in Amman – Jordan.
 
During the Qurobo, His Holiness consecrated Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho as Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands.
 
His Holiness was assisted in the Qurobo by their Eminences: Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar in Switzerland and Austria, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldo, Metropolitan of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America, Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of the Eastern United States of America, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education.
 
Representatives of the various Churches in Jordan, as well as a crowd of the reverend priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and faithful, attended the Qurobo and ordination.
 
During the Qurobo, according to the rite of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch, the new archbishop declared his Orthodox Faith and signed it before His Holiness the Patriarch. His Holiness prayed the prayer of the invocation of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of the hand. He laid on his right hand on the head of Raban Gabriel and ordained him as an archbishop.
 
Then, His Holiness gave the new bishop his fatherly name (Gabriel), and started to put on him the bishopric vestments. The new bishop sat on the bishopric chair; His Holiness placed his right hand over the archbishop’s shoulder and declared thrice: “Axios (worthy)”, while the crowd of faithful repeated the same each time. The new bishop was then carried on the chair so he reads the special reading from the Holy Bible. At the end, His Holiness gave him the crosier (pastoral staff).
 
Before he continued the celebration of the Holy Qurobo, the new archbishop Mor Gabriel Dahho, then gave a word titled “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28), in which he said: “You entrust to me – Your Holiness – the diocese on whose territory our Incarnate God lived, where the passion of the Christ and His victory over death, and His resurrection from the dead on the third day according to His will.” He added “Here is revealed the truth of carrying the yoke of the cross and following the steps of the Lord towards the Golgotha; there, I meditate him walking in the Holy city of Jerusalem, and get to know the challenges and pains of service; however, I shall never go back, but move forward and bear all difficulties, keeping in mind that, if I seek the strength of resurrection, I have to pass the valley of the shadow of death.”
 
His Eminence then thanked His Holiness, their Eminences the Archbishops, the Reverend priests, monks, nuns, his family members, and all those who supported him through his life and church service.
 
After the Qurobo, His Holiness, His Eminence the New Archbishop, and all their Eminences, entered the Hall where His Holiness put on the new archbishop the turban and the black robe with red hems, and gave him the small staff. Congratulations were then offered to the new archbishop.
 

On April 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with His Royal Highness Prince El-Hassan Bin Talal, in Amman – Jordan.

Their Eminences: Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar in Switzerland and Austria, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and a number of the members of the Church Council in Amman, accompanied His Holiness.

His Holiness praised the role of Jordan in protecting the Church properties especially in Jerusalem. He stressed the importance of preserving the presence of Christians in the Middle East. His Holiness also raised the case of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji.

In turn, His Royal Highness assured the importance of respecting diversity in the region, and the significance of dialogue in protecting human’s dignity.

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On Tuesday 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over Sutoro (Compline) Prayer at St. Aphrem Cathedral in Amman, Jordan.
 
Their Eminences: Mor Dioscoros Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Theethose Yeldo, Metropolitan of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, as well as Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, and the reverend priests, deacons, and crowd of faithful, attended the prayer.
 
At the end, His Holiness expressed his happiness to meet his spiritual children in Jordan once again, and congratulated them for their new bishop who will be ordained tomorrow. He spoke about the service which should accompany the bishop, as well as humility and cooperation between him and the flock.
 
Finally, His Holiness blessed all who were present.
 

On April 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of Jordan, at the Royal Palace in Amman.

He was accompanied by their Eminences Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, as well as Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

His Holiness thanked His Majesty for supporting the Churches and the Christian presence in the region, remarking the situation in Syria and Iraq. His Holiness expressed his happiness with regards to the positive developments in Syria.

However, he denounced the ambiguity surrounding the case of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, and asked the help of His Majesty to bring the case to a good end.

His Holiness also spoke about the Syriac Orthodox Church to be built on the Jordan River side in the near future, and introduced to His Majesty Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho, whom he will ordain Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem, Jordan, and the Holy Lands, tomorrow Wednesday.

His Majesty King Abdullah welcomed His Holiness and assured him that Christians are a major component of the region and that Jordan will continue to defend the properties of the Churches especially in Jerusalem, and will not stop supporting the Christian presence in the Middle East, especially in Jordan.

The meeting was also attended by His Royal Highness Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, chief adviser to the King for Religious and Cultural Affairs and the King’s Personal Envoy, Royal Court Chief, the King’s Advisor, and Director of the King’s Office.

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On April 8, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo and presided over the Funeral Service of the Thrice Blessed Archbishop Mor Philoxenus Matta Cahmoun, at the Virgin Mary Cathedral in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon.
 
He was assisted by their Eminences Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Archbishop of Beirut, and Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, in the presence of their Eminences: Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Selwanos Boutros Al-Nemeh, Archbishop of Homs, Hama, Tartous and Environs, Mor Justinos Boulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahleh and Bekaa, Mor Maurice Amsih, Archbishop of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates, Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education.
 
His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, attended the Qurobo and Funeral, along with their Graces: Boutros Moushe, Archbishop of Mosul, and Aphrem Youssef Abba, Archbishop of Baghdad.
 
His Beatitude Cardinal Mar Bechara Boutros Rai, Moronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East was represented by His Excellency Archbishop Boulos Sayyah, General Patriarchal Vicar, and His Beatitude John X, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, was represented by His Grace Bishop Constantine Kayal, the Abbot of Saint Elias Shuwaya Monastery.
 
At the end of the Qurobo, His Holiness presided over the Funeral Service, after which the thrice Blessed Mor Philoxenus Matta Chamoun was buried in the tombs of the Archbishops in Atchaneh.
 
His Holiness delivered a eulogy in which he spoke about the faithfulness of the blessed thrice Archbishop Matta over the long years of Church service. He recalled the various responsibilities and services entrusted to him: Mor Aphrem Orphanage in Beirut (Khandaq al Ghamiq). the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh and Mor Aphrem Seminary in Atchaneh. His Holiness expressed his deep sorrow and offered condolences to the Holy Church and the family of the Late Archbishop.
 
May his memory be eternal.
 

On April 7, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over the first Teshmeshto (service) of the Funeral of the thrice blessed Archbishop Mor Philoxenus Matta Chamoun, at Virgin Mary Cathedral in Atchaneh, Bikfaya – Lebanon.

Their Eminences: Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education, along with the reverend priests, monks, deacons, and nuns, attended the Service.

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On March 31, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received a delegation from the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC), at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
The delegation included Rev. Najla Kassab, President of WCRC, and Rev. Martina Wasserloos-Strunk, President of WCRC-Europe (Germany). They were accompanied by Rev. Boutros Zaour, Pastor of the Evangelical Church of Damascus.
The meeting was attended by Their Eminences Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Mor Anthimos Jack Yakoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Religious Education.
 
His Holiness and his guests discussed the situations in Syria and countries of the region. He stressed that Syrians should have the right to decide their future. He considered that this war is not a Syrian war, but a war of powers on the land of Syria. He also assured that the Church is putting efforts in helping Syrians stay in their country, especially through executing projects and providing them job opportunities.