Melkite Greek Catholic Church
 

Question:

"What are the requirements for acceptance as a candidate for the priesthood in the Melkite Church? What are the educational requirements for ordination? I have long felt a calling to the priesthood but was advised to finish my academic training first. Over the years, the sense of a calling has persisted. Your comments would be greatly appreciated."

Bishop John's Answer:

God bless your good will to serve His people. The first condition to be a candidate to serve a people is to know them and to be known and accepted by them. There is a general understanding that, to be accepted in our seminary, one should have belonged to a Melkite community for two years. Where do you live? Do you live near a Melkite community? How much you know about the people you intend to serve? You may get more information by writing or talking to our Vocation Director.

God bless your good will and direct your steps to His pleasure and glory.

Question:

"I am interest in how one becomes ordained in your church."

Bishop John's Answer:

Odination is a serious goal that can only be achieved after much prayer and discernment. On the occasion of his fiftieth year of ordination, Pope John Paul II spoke of his vocation to the priesthood as a gift from God and as a deep mystery known only to God Himself. Anyone attracted to the life of a priest should take this matter up with a spiritual director who can assist him in discerning God's will. The first goal of every serious Christian is the salvation of his soul. If you feel called to service as a priest, your spiritual director can show you the way to make application to the various Religious orders and diocese seminaries. Ordination in the Melkite Church follows the same course for those who are called to the service of an Eastern Catholic Church. Certain rules of the Church govern the acceptance of candidates for the priesthood. Our priests complete a prescribed course of studies in a major seminary prior to ordination. I wish you every blessing in your quest.

Question:

Is it possible for a married Roman Catholic such as myself to be ordained a priest in the Eastern Rite?

Bishop John's Answer:

Thank you for your inquiry about the possibility of a Roman Catholic layman to be admitted to the priesthood in the Melkite Church. As it is well known, it is the tradition of the Eastern Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic, to admit married as well as celibate men to priestly ordination. However, it is not allowed, at the present time, to a Roman Catholic in the United States to seek priestly ordination in the Melkite Catholic Church. Besides, to serve a people you have to be part of them. You have to be a member of a Melkite Church for at least two years before being admitted to our Melkite Seminary or to our Diaconate Formation Program. Your seeking priestly ordination in a church should be for the sake of serving its people in their own style of worship (rite). That would be "false pretense," so to speak, to seek entrance into another church only for the sake of being ordained.

As sister Catholic Churches of East and West, we belong to the same "union." If there is a ban (a strike) against a practice in one church, the other churches should not provide the members of that church "to cross the strike line" and to break the rules of their church.

Consequently, it is not permissible for a Married Roman Catholic to seek priestly ordination in the Melkite Church. This is the rule at the present time. But we do not know what the future will hold. There are many way to serve the Lord. May God direct your step the the best track to serve Him and His people redeemed by His Precious Blood.

 

Where are the houses of study or seminaries?

Which cities and what level of accreditation do they have, i.e. Master of Divinity, etc.

Bishop John's Answer

Our Diocesan House of Study is St. Gregory the Theologian Seminary, 233 Grant Avenue, Newton Center, MA 02159. Tel. (617) 965-9862. Vocation Director: The Rt. Rev. Philip Raczka, (983) 890-4140 Pastoral, spiritual and liturgical formation is given directly by the Seminary. Academic preparation is given in part by priests of the Diocese in the Seminary, and in part by participation in the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), comprising nine institutions with various degrees available: 1. Boston College Department of Theology (Roman Catholic) 2. Saint John's Seminary (Roman Catholic) 3. Weston School of Theology (Roman Catholic) 4. Holy Cross School of Theology (Greek Orthodox) 5. Episcopal Divinity School (Episcopalian) 6. Harvard Divinity School (Protestant) 7. Andover-Newton Theological School (Protestant) 8. Boston University School of Theology (Protestant) 9. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Protestant)

Registration in academic courses in the BTI is supervised by guidelines drawn from the Program of Priestly Formation (NCCB) and is monitored by the Rector of St. Gregory's, who functions as the academic advisor to the students and must approve all course selections.

We have also in the Diocese St. Basil Seminary of the Basilian Salvatorian Order, 30 East St., Methuen MA 01844 - Tel (978) 683-2471 - Vocation Director: Rev. Deacon James Whelan, BSO, Tel. (978) 683-2471 or (617) 899-5500

We have at the present time one seminarian at St. Gregory's Seminary and one at St. Basil Seminary. "The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for His harvest." (Matthew 9:37)

 

Question:

How does the Melkite Liturgy stress the four ways in which Christ is present in the liturgy in order of their importance.

We were taught that Jesus is present in the presbyter, the assembly, the Eucharist, and in Scriptures."

Bishop John's Answer

The question asks four ways in which Christ is present in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (Melkite Liturgy). Eastern Catholics do not categorize into parts what is a living experience. Furthermore, to attempt to categorize in order of importance is to single out a "moment" in isolation from its liturgical context. This should be avoided as it can only result in a narrowness and one-sidedness in liturgical piety that falls prey to all manner of symbolic and allegorical interpretations and possible liturgical folklore.

The Liturgy is the "Sacrament of the Assembly." Christ came to "gather into one the children of God who were scattered abroad" (Jn 11:52), and from the very beginning the Eucharist was a manifestation of the unity of the new people of God, gathered by Christ and in Christ. WE come together not for individual prayer but to assemble together as the Church. This reality is the foundation of the entire liturgy. When we say that we are going to church, it means that we are going into the assembly of the faithful in order, together with them, to constitute the church, in order to be what we became on the day of our baptism - a member, in the fullest, absolute meaning, of the body of Christ. We go to manifest the mystery of the Kingdom of God, which already "has come in power." We are the church, we make it up. Christ abides in his members and the church does not exist outside us or above us, but we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Christianity consists not in bestowing on each the possibility of "personal perfection" but in calling Christians to be the Church The Eucharistic Liturgy is the sacrament of the Kingdom.

In the Divine Liturgy we meet the real presence of Christ in the elements of the Sacrament and in the forgiving, elevating, and fulfilling presence of Christ in our lives. The Divine Liturgy is also the place where the Church itself affirms its existence as the "people of God" where it proclaims the fact that their response to the saving work of Christ has made them members of the Kingdom. The Assembly experience a foretaste of that Eternal Kingdom through the Liturgical Experience.

The Divine Liturgy begins with the words, "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy spirit, now and always, and forever and ever." The Divine Liturgy is the Church being itself; that is , being the Kingdom of God. We are in the presence of the triune God from beginning to end. It is a living transcendent experience which cannot be fulfilled without our being conscious of God's presence transforming us.

The Divine Liturgy becomes the location where we are at the most intense level united with Christ and growing in the image and likeness of God. It is the place of not only "remembering" but of actually sharing in the redemptive sacrifice of Christ on the Cross as well as His whole incarnate life. It is that action which most of all characterizes us as the Church, emphasizing our real existence as members of God's Kingdom, beginning in this life and extending into eternity. It is the location where time past, time present and time future are gathered for us in ultimate meaning and significance. The Divine Liturgy is a real, practical experienced event which gathers together the meaning of life. In the Liturgy we find the reality of our union with Christ and one another as the Church of God.

All genuine faith is ultimately founded upon direct transcendental experience. The dogma of the Church represents not the expression of an individual mind, but the expression of the mind of the Church as a whole. Eastern Catholics have kept and guarded this vision, this consciousness of the Church, this knowledge that "where the Church is, there is the Holy Spirit and fullness of grace" (Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 3:34:1)

Thus, in explaining the liturgical tradition of the church, the first principle of liturgical theology is that one must not proceed from purely intellectual schemata cast randomly over the services, but from the services themselves - and this means from their ordo - the mutual dependence of the celebrant of the service and the people. The Church is Christ in us.

 

Question:

How does Church teachings manage to integrate an understanding of both the graced and the flawed nature of the human person?

Answer:

Bishop John asked Dr. Fran Colie, the Assistant Director of the Religious Education Department to field this question. Here is Dr. Colie's response:

Man is created in the "image and likeness" of God (Gen1:26). He is created with the "image" or seed of divine filiation with God and the potential to bring that "image" to the "likeness" of God by the exercise of free will.

We integrate our understanding of both the 'graced and the flawed nature of the person' as you state in your question, by accepting ourselves and our true nature which is that of "man the divine icon" made according to the archetype of man, Jesus Christ., and grow synergistically in a relationship with God. That nature may become flawed only by our free choice, but the 'image' can never be taken away. Man may choose God or remain self centered and carnal minded which limits growth in the ‘likeness' of God. Man is most like God when he exercises his free will to choose to become like God. Being made in the "image of God" he has the potential to become like God. This potential can never be taken away even though it might be tarnished by sin (which in essence is a conscious refusal to grow in the ‘likeness' of God; a denial of God.

The "image" of God" in us is our true nature and it is good, not flawed, all that is made by God is good. In the Eastern Church "grace" is called "uncreated energy" because it is God's energy – all other energy is created energy because God is the only uncreated one. After the fall of Adam, the world created by God was thrown into chaos, making it necessary for man to struggle to bring this "image" to fruition or ‘likeness' by overcoming or transcending the temptations of this worldly life.

In western theology, the spiritual man is a ‘natural' man to whom grace has been added. Human nature (natura pura) includes the intellectual and the animal life and to this the spiritual life (the supernatural) has been added and somehow superimposed on a purely human economy. In the East, the expression, man ‘in the image of God' (that is, with the grace of the Spirit) defines exactly what man is by nature, ‘By his creation man shares the nature of God" and so charismatism is intrinsic to human nature' Evdikimov states, What the West calls supernatural-natural' is simply called ‘human-divine', or created-uncreated' by Eastern authors. Consequently, for man the natural (kata physin) consists of whatever is for him a pure good: charity, faith, the virtues, gnosis, and so on. Wickedness is sin, evil thoughts the passions – all these are ‘against nature' (para physin). Ephram explained that it is not man's nature which is corrupted, but his habits, and that this corruption has altered nature. Only deliverance from sin allows the appropriate use of nature". And we read in Evagrius: "When we were created at the beginning, seeds of virtue existed naturally in us but no malice at all . . ."

 

Questions:

Must we Eastern Catholics consider the post-schism General Councils of the Roman Church Ecumenical like the Seven of the First Millennium?

Bishop John's Answer:

Patriarch Gregory II Youssef-Sayour occupied the Melkite throne of Antioch for thirty-three years (1864-1897). At Vatican I, the Patriarch gave an impassioned plea to the assembled bishops in defense of the prerogatives of the ancient patriarchs. He said: "The Eastern Church attributes the highest and most complete power to the Pope, but in such a way that the fullness of his power is in harmony with the rights of the other Patriarchal Sees. (Mansi 52,cols. 133-137). Patriarch Gregory finally signed the document Pastor aeternus but only after adding the phrase made famous at the earlier Council of Florence that expressed his reservations. He added: "salvis omnibus iuribus et privilegiis patriarcharum". {saving all of the rights and privileges of the patriarchs}.

While the first seven ecumenical councils enjoy a place of prominence, especially in the East, both the Churches of the East and West have experienced local councils and synods throughout their rich histories. The early ecumenical councils met to resolve and articulate important Christological doctrines. The Melkite Church participated fully in Vatican I and Patriarch Gregory spoke clearly to his affirmation of the fullness of power enjoyed by the Petrine Office. The Patriarch was very concerned that the exercise of papal powers be "in harmony with the rights of the other Patriarchal Sees." The second Vatican Council is seen to have completed the unfinished business of Vatican I with its special emphasis on ecclesiology, specifically on the nature of the Church.

Recent theological speculation has developed the concept of "communion of churches" with promising results for ecumenism and rapprochement with the Orthodox. It would be a simple rekindling of the old controversy of conciliarism to suggest that some councils are less ecumenical than others. With the promulgation of the Holy Father, the doctrinal content of the various councils is a part of the sacred magisterial teaching of the Church to which Melkites in full communion with the See of Rome give wholehearted assent.

 

Question:

"What is the Melkite view vis-à-vis the Council of Trent and other such councils that the East was not represented at, and that reflect a specifically western vision of the church? Are we bound by them?

Bishop John's Answer:

Although the Council of Trent was convened in order to meet the challenges of the Reformation in the west, the recapitulation of dogma concerning the sacraments that came from the Council has been an enriching source for the Churches of both east and west. Indeed, you will note that many Eastern theologians have reacted in various ways to the decrees of the Council of Trent. As Catholics, we are bound to all of the decrees of the councils that have been promulgated by the Holy Father. In some instances, the decrees of the Council have direct application to the discipline of the west only. Usually this can be discerned either by the decree itself or by its logical application to the discipline of the west.
 

Question:

Is it possible for a married Roman Catholic such as myself to be ordained a priest in the Eastern Rite?

Bishop John's Answer:

Thank you for your inquiry about the possibility of a Roman Catholic layman to be admitted to the priesthood in the Melkite Church. As it is well known, it is the tradition of the Eastern Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic, to admit married as well as celibate men to priestly ordination. However, it is not allowed, at the present time, to a Roman Catholic in the United States to seek priestly ordination in the Melkite Catholic Church. Besides, to serve a people you have to be part of them. You have to be a member of a Melkite Church for at least two years before being admitted to our Melkite Seminary or to our Diaconate Formation Program. Your seeking priestly ordination in a church should be for the sake of serving its people in their own style of worship (rite). That would be "false pretense," so to speak, to seek entrance into another church only for the sake of being ordained.

As sister Catholic Churches of East and West, we belong to the same "union." If there is a ban (a strike) against a practice in one church, the other churches should not provide the members of that church "to cross the strike line" and to break the rules of their church.

Consequently, it is not permissible for a Married Roman Catholic to seek priestly ordination in the Melkite Church. This is the rule at the present time. But we do not know what the future will hold. There are many way to serve the Lord. May God direct your step the the best track to serve Him and His people redeemed by His Precious Blood.

 

Question:

"What is your view of Archbishop Elias Zoghby's book, "We are All Schismatics"?"

Bishop John's Answer:

First, the book's title as translated is misleading. The title in French is: "Tous Schismatiques?" Note that this is not a statement, but a question with a question mark. It doesn't claim that we are ALL schismatic, but asks, "Are we all schismatic?"

Here is an answer copied from my course "Melkite Perspectives" as given to our deacon candidates in 1997:

The book is written with sincere love to both the Roman and the Orthodox Churches. Archbishop Zoghby asserts that the faith is essentially the same both of the Church of Rome and of Orthodoxy. He asserts that the Councils held by the West alone cannot be considered "ecumenical", because they did not include the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchates. He disdains the claim of the Eastern Catholic Churches united to Rome as being apostolic. He criticizes the present Canon Law of the Eastern Catholic Church. He claims that the union which took place between some Eastern Churches with Rome in the past three centuries was a great mistake. He recognizes the primacy but only of honor to the Church of Rome. He thinks it is a matter of conscience to face the division of the churches. He asserts that "To prolong the schism is to remain in sin." He calls for the double communion of the Melkite Church both with Rome and with the Orthodox Churches. His initiative led to the Declaration of 1995 which was signed individually by the greatest majority of bishops present (25 out of 28) and to the subsequent statement approved unanimously by the Fathers of the Synod of 1996.

In a review of the book by Father (now Archbishop) Cyril Salim Boustros, Archbishop Boustros, now successor of Archbishop Zoghby on the see of Baalbeck, concludes his article by two remarks:

  • There is no doubt that the situation of the Eastern Catholic Churches in their relation to Rome, especially from the administrative point of view is not the ideal situation expected to exist between the Apostolic Eastern Sees and the Apostolic See of Rome. However, we could not conclude that our forefathers committed a mistake by proclaiming their union to Rome, and that it would have been better if they stayed as they were. Who knows what would have happened if union didn't take place? No one can judge of possible things which might have happened. All we can do is to study in an objective way its positive and negative results.
  • It is not allowed in any way to affirm that the Orthodox Patriarchs and bishops are the only legitimate successors of the Apostles over the Eastern sees under the claim that they represent the authentic Eastern tradition. The true Eastern tradition, according to the assertion of His Excellency (Archbishop Zoghby), supposes communion with the see of Rome. This is why His Excellency did not break the communion with Rome when he reestablished communion with the Antiochian Orthodox see and through it with the whole Orthodoxy.

We support the position of His Excellency and we deduce from it that the Greek Orthodox, because of their refusal of communion with Rome, -- regardless of the reasons for this refusal -- do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially; because the complete Eastern tradition requires absolutely the communion with Rome, although in a special way as it was in the first millennium. On the other hand, the Greek Catholics, by keeping their union with the see of Rome, have kept a fundamental principle of Eastern tradition, especially the Antiochian tradition. However this principle has been exposed in its application to different things which deformed it, so that communion almost became absorption. Therefore, the Greek Catholics also do not represent the Eastern tradition but partially. Consequently, we can affirm that neither the Greek Orthodox nor the Greek Catholic represent fully the Eastern tradition, although both churches have kept it partially.

Archbishop Zoghby declared individually his reunion with the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch without cutting out his communion with the Catholic See of Rome. Now the question is addressed to both Churches: Does the Roman Catholic Church accept an Eastern Catholic bishop who proclaims his communion with the Orthodox Church? And does the Orthodox Church accept communion with a bishop who is still in communion with the Catholic See of Rome? As we wait for the answer from East and West, we offer our supplications to God and we join our prayer to the prayer of Jesus Christ the only head of the Church: "Father, let them all be one, so that the world will believe that You sent me." (John 17:21)

(End of Bostros' remarks)

So far, neither the Catholic West nor the Orthodox East accepted the Zoghby initiative. However, this initiative has sharpened our yearning for unity, looking forward for the day when the prayer of Christ will be fulfilled. We Melkites who took a risk and keep hoping beyond hope, may comfort ourselves with the well known saying: "It is better to love and lose, than not to love at all."

 
(photo from a previous meeting)

2002 Papal Wishes on the 50th Anniversary of Bishop John Elya

Congratulatory Greetings from His Holiness Pope John Paul II 4/02

To Our Venerable Brother, John Adel Elya - Bishop of the Melkite Greek Diocese of Newton

As if We were present in person, We wish by this letter to commemorate a special event of your life, namely the fiftieth anniversary, on the first Sunday of Lent this year, of your priestly ordination, and with Our sincere wishes and prayers to join you and all your flock in this joyful solemnity.

This is indeed an excellent opportunity to recall on this important occasion your accomplishments in the service of Christ, by which you have embellished your fruitful ministry as a priest and a bishop.

Perceiving the call of the Lord while you were a youth, you entered the Melkite Basilian Order, and there professed your solemn vows at the end of the year 1949. When you had finished your philosophical and theological studies, you were ordained as a priest on February 17. 1952. At the Pontifical Gregorian University you obtained a licenciate in theology, and in Boston you secured the title of Master of Arts.

After you had left your renowned land of Lebanon, you accomplished assiduous pastoral work in various locations: in the town of Zerka in Jordan, in parishes dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Manchester and then in Toronto, in the Parish of Saint Joseph in Lawrence, and finally in the Cathedral Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Roslindale. No less actively you worked in the field of education: you taught moral theology and philosophy in the Monastery of Saint Savior in Lebanon, and then in the Seminary of Saint Basil in Methuen, where you were rector for three years.

Because of your excellent gifts of intellect, in the year 1977 you were named Archimandrite. Then in 1986 you were made Titular Bishop of Abilene of Lysanias and Auxiliary to the Ordinary of the Melkite Greek Diocese of Newton, to whom you succeeded seven years later, and you still fulfill this very weighty duty.

Now that fifty years of your priestly labors have passed, Venerable Brother, we wish to encourage you to zealously continue to fulfill your office of Pastor and Master. Accordingly, renew in your mind the saying of the Apostles of the Gentiles: "Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on to the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 3, 13-14) The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, whom you venerate with filial love, will provide the necessary help and protect your pastoral projects.

Therefore, Venerable Brother, receive this evidence of Our good will and Our Apostolic Blessing, which we joyfully impart as a pledge of heavenly reward, first to you, and then to your Auxiliary Bishop, to all the community of the Melkite Greek Diocese of Newton, and to all who are joined with you in love.

From the Vatican, on January 17, 2002, in the twenty-fourth year of Our Pontificate.

John Paul II

(Translated from Latin by Protodeacon Paul Lawler)

 

Message from Lebanon -

From the Patriarchal Residence in Rabweh, near Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving Day, overflowing with the blessings of the Lord.

+John A. Elya

Eparch of Newton

I am pleased to send you the following progress report on the situation of the Melkite Patriarchate regarding the resignation of His Beatitude Patriarch Maximos V Hakim, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and of Jerusalem. His Beatitude, 92 year old, bedridden since he had a stroke last February, presented his resignation to the Melkite Synod in a letter dated on October 17, signed by him and four witnesses.

After due consultation with His Holiness Pope John Paul II and the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, an exceptional Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church was held at the Patriarchal Residence, Rabweh, Lebanon on Wednesday, November 22, 2000. It was convened and presided by the Patriarchal Administrator, Archbishop John Haddad of Tyre. The Synod was attended by the following Hierarchs who had come from the Middle East, the Americas and Australia:

Elias Zoghby (Emeritus of Baalbek)

Gregory Haddad (Emeritus of Beirut)

Saba Youakim (Emeritus of Amman, Jordan)

Paul Antaki (Patriarchal Vicar in Egypt and Sudan)

Maximos Salloum (Emeritus of Haifa & Galilee)

Michel Hakim (Emeritus of Canada)

Francois Abou-Mokh (Emeritus Patriarchal Vicar in Damascus)

John Mansour (Patriarchal Vicar Auxiliary in Lebanon)

Michel Yatim (Emeritus of Latakieh)

Lutfy Laham (Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem)

Boulos Borkhoch (Houran and the Arab Mountain)

Andre Haddad (Zahleh, Fourzol and the Beqaa)

John Adel Elya (the United States of America)

Ibrahim Nehmeh (Homs, Hama and Yabroud)

George Riachi (Tripoli, Lebanon)

Georges Kouaiter (Saida and Deir-el-Kamar)

Cyril Salim Bostros (Baalbek)

Antoine Hayek (Paneas and Gedeidet Marjeyooun)

Pierre Mouallem, Haifa, Nazareth and Galilee)

George El-Murr (Amman, Jordan)

Isidore Battikhah (Patriarchal Vicar in Damascus)

Jean Janbart (Aleppo)

Fares Macarone, Brazil

George Kahale Zuhairaty (Venezuela & Argentina)

Issam Darwich (Australia)

Sleiman Hajjar (Canada)

Joseph Kallas (Beirut & Gebeil)

Nocola Sawwaf, Lataquieh

Divided by their sees or residence, they had come from: Lebanon (12), Syria (7), the Holy Land (3), Egypt (1), the United States (1), Canada (2), Brazil (1) Venezuela (1) and Australia (1).

It is worth mentioning that, among the members attending the Synod, seven were retired bishops. In contrast to some other Bishops' gatherings such as the National Conference of Catholic Bishop of America (NCCB), and the Consistory of Cardinals, the retired bishops in attendance at the Melkite Synod enjoy full rights of voting and being voted, on a par with all other bishops. this concern is a good illustration of the traditional high esteem and piety in which Easterners hold the wisdom of old age. According to the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, a bishop must present his resignation from office at the completion of 75 years of age. However nothing is mentioned about the retirement of the Patriarch.

Four bishops were excused from attending the Synod: Archbishop Capucci, former Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem and former Apostolic Visitator in Europe; Archbishop Joseph Raya former Archbishop Of Haifa, Nazareth and Galilee, presently residing at Madonna House, Combermere, Ontario, Canada; Bishop Spiridon Matar, retired Bishop of Brazil, and Bishop Nicholas Samra, Auxiliary Bishop of Newton, USA, who had undergone recently a surgical operation.

The following Press Release was issued by the Patriarchate in this regard {signed by the Most Rev. Archbishop Jean Mansour, the Patriarchal Administrator}

The Holy Synod of the Bishops of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church held on November 22, accepted the resignation of His Beatitude Maximos Hakim V, which he had presented to the Synod {by writing, signed by him and by four witnesses,} on October 17, 2000.

On this occasion, the Fathers of the Synod addressed to His Beatitude the following letter: "To His Beatitude Patriarch Maximos V Hakim, The Fathers of the Holy Synod meeting today at the Patriarchal Residence at Rabweh, beg your blessing and your prayer. They express to your Beatitude their gratitude and their appreciation for your great efforts and your valuable endeavors to enhance our Church on all levels and to make it grow spiritually, pastorally and physically, within the traditional area of the Patriarchate and in the Countries of Emigration.

Our Church owes you many memorable favors, which history will write in golden letters On its shining pages, and which your children will remember with great esteem and pride.

We implore long life for your Beatitude and we ask for your good prayers and your paternal blessings, so that we can continue our journey with diligence and perseverance that you and your great predecessors traced for us in the past.

The Synod decided to call for an "elective Synod" {for the election of a new Patriarch} at 10:00 AM, on Monday, November 27.

The Fathers of the Synod ask all their children, clergy, religious and laity, and all their friends, to help them through their prayers to God, so that He will give them the assistance and the Inspiration of His Holy Spirit, in order to elect the person who will be the father, the shepherd and the faithful servant to the Church and the people."

Shopping Cart

Your shopping cart is empty
Visit the shop

Questions? © 1995-2021 Melkite Eparchy of Newton  ·  All Rights Reserved RSS Feed