Patriarchate News

On June 14, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with His Excellency Mr. Alfredo Miguel Abriani, Director of Religious Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Buenos Aires.
 
He was accompanied by their Eminences: Mor Chrysostomos Youhanna Ghassaly, Patriarchal Vicar in Argentina, Mor Severius Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar in Brazil, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Titus Boulos Touza, Apostolic Nuncio to the Syriac Evangelical Mission Churches in Brazil, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
His Excellency Mr. Maher Mahfouz, Charge d’Affaires of the Syrian Embassy in Buenos Aires was also present.
 
His Holiness highlighted the generosity of Argentina in receiving immigrants from Syria and Lebanon since more than a century, taking care of them, and helping them to integrate in the society. He also spoke about the situation in Syria, and the role of the Church in the realms of helping the refugees, and in the relief and development.
 

On June 13, 2019, His Excellency Mr. Maher Mahfouz, Charge d’Affaires of the Syrian Embassy in Buenos Aires, held an official reception in the honor of His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II at the Syrian Embassy in Buenos Aires.

His Holiness was accompanied by their Eminences: Mor Chrysostomos Youhanna Ghassaly, Patriarchal Vicar in Argentina, Mor Mor Severius Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar in Brazil, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Shemoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, and Mor Titus Boulos Touza, Apostolic Nuncio to the Syriac Missions in Brazil as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

The ambassadors of Russia, Venezuela, Serbia and others as well as Syrian dignitaries from Argentina attended the reception.

His Excellency Mr. Mahfouz welcomed His Holiness and expressed his joy at the blessing that His Holiness brought from the Middle East, the land of the ancient religions.

His Holiness thanked His Excellency for his love and for welcoming him at the “Syrian House”. He spoke about the real situation in Syria, which is different from what media is propagating. He said that his visit is both pastoral – to visit the faithful of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Argentina – and to reflect the true image of Syria and the reality of what is happening there.

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On the evening of June 13, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over ramsho (evening) prayer at St. Aphrem Church in Buenos Aires. He was accompanied by their Eminences: Mor Severius Malke Mourad, Patriarchal Vicar in Brazil, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Shemoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, and Mor Titus Boulos Touza, Apostolic Nuncio to the Syriac Missions in Brazil as well as Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

His Eminence Mor Chrysostomos Youhanna Ghassaly, Patriarchal Vicar in Argentina, welcomed His Holiness and the accompanying delegation and thanked him for his role in defending the Christians in the Middle East.

His Holiness expressed his joy to begin his apostolic visit to Argentina with a prayer with the other churches in coincidence with the day of the prayer for the unity of the churches. He also thanked the Lord for the role of Argentina in welcoming Christian emigrants from the Middle East since the last century, and giving them the opportunity to live and prosper. He compared those days to ours where the religious extremism is the enemy of life, especially the attempts to empty the Middle East from Christians.

At the end of the prayer, His Holiness received the guests who attended the official reception held in his honor. Among the guests were: His Excellency Mr. Maher Mahfouz, Charge d’Affaires of the Syrian Embassy in Buenos Aires, the representative of His Eminence Cardinal Poli, and their Excellencies Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Buenos Aires Kissag Mouradian, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Buenos Aires Jacob Al-Khoury, Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Ignatius,  and other representatives of the sister churches in Argentina.

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On June 13, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II arrived at Buenos Aires International Airport in Argentine, for his first apostolic visit to the Patriarchal Vicariate of Argentina.
 
He is accompanied by His Eminence Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
His Holiness and the accompanying delegation were received at the airport by His Eminence Mor Chrysostomos Youhanna Ghassaly, Patriarchal Vicar in Argentina, and Her Excellency Suzana Surbaje, Official Representative of the Ministry of Exterior.
 
His Holiness’s visit will last for several days, during which His Holiness will meet his spiritual children in the various provinces in Argentina, and celebrate with them the Feast of Pentecost, and the Commemoration of Sayfo Martyrs. During the visit, His Holiness will also have several meetings with officials.
 

On June 11, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Her Excellency Dr. Rizan Saleh Qader, Representative of the Region of Kurdistan in Italy.
 
Her Excellency thanked His Holiness for visiting the Region and taking part in the legal oath of the new president. They discussed together general affairs.
 
His Eminence Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, attended the meeting.
 

On June 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with their Beatitudes Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and Cardinal Mar Louis Rafael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon.

The meeting was hosted by His Eminence Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, at the Archdiocesan Residence in Ankawa, Erbil, Iraq.

Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mor Mattai Monastery, along with a number of their Eminences and Graces Archbishops of the various Churches in Iraq attended the meeting.

During the meeting, His Holiness and their Beatitudes, Eminences, and Graces, discussed the general situations in Iraq and the other countries of the Middle East. They reassured the importance of preserving the presence of Christianity in the region.

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On June 10, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the ceremony of the legal oath of His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani as President of Iraqi Kurdistan.

He was accompanied by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali.

Their Beatitudes Mor Ignatius Youssef III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and Cardinal Mar Louis Rafael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, also attended the ceremony.

After the oath, His Excellency delivered a speech in which he promised to work hard to keep peace and security in the region, and to ensure equality and protection to all components of the region. He also spoke about his agenda with regards to developing the region.

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On June 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at Um Al-Nour (Mother of Light) Church in Erbil – Iraq.
 
He was assisted by Their Eminences Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, and Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mor Mattai Monastery, in the presence of the clergy and a crowd of the faithful.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness recalled his visit to Iraq, four years ago, like these days, to stand by the side of his spiritual who were obliged to flee Mosul and Nineveh plains leaving their houses and work and seeking shelter from persecution in Erbil and other places. His Holiness considered that the persecuted Christians in the Middle East remind us of the early Church, especially the times of the disciples, who were afraid and worried after the ascension of the Lord; however, His Holiness added, when they received the Holy Spirit, they went out and spread the Good News. Nowadays also, the Holy Spirit casts out all our fears. His Holiness also spoke about the aim of his visit, that is taking part in the ceremony of the legal oath of His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani as President of Iraqi Kurdistan.
 

On June 9, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II arrived at Erbil International Airport in Iraq, to take part in the ceremony of the legal oath of His Excellency Nechirvan Barzani as President of Iraqi Kurdistan.
 
He is accompanied by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
His Holiness was received at the airport by Their Eminences Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Archbishop of Mosul, Kirkuk, Kurdistan and Environs, and Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Mor Mattai Monastery, as well as representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraqi Kurdistan their Excellencies: Mr. Karim Sinjari, Minister for the Interior, and Mr. Pishtiwan Sadiq, Minister of Education.
 

On June 5, 2019, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II signed a contract for buying a land and property in Nyköping in order to establish a monastery for Syriac monks in Sweden.