20170218

The news about the conflict in the Syriac Orthodox Church


February 8, 2017
Six Syrian Orthodox Archbishops denounce Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II Karim’s authority

On February 8, 2017, a group of six Syrian Orthodox Archbishops issued a joint statement where they totally denounce the supremacy and authority of their Patriarch His Holiness Mar Ignatius Aphrem II Karim. They also refuse to accept his decisions retroactively From the day he was concentrated Patriarch. They accuse him of heresy after his statement that Jesus has no grave because he descended to heaven.

Source: ASSYRIA T.V. 



The group of six archbishops of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch 
(four of whom are members in the Holy Synod and two are not)

His Eminence Mar Eustathius Matta Roham, Metropolitan Archbishop of Jazirah and Euphrates
His Eminence Mar Climis Eugene Kaplan, Metropolitan Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar of Western USA
His Eminence Mar Severius Malki Murad, Metropolitan Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem and Jordan.
His Eminence Mar Malatius Malki Malki, Metropolitan Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar of Australia and New Zealand
His Eminence Mar Severios Hazail Soumi, Metropolitan Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium and France
His Eminence Mar Bartholomaus Nathanael, Metropolitan Archbishop, Patriarchal Vicar of United Arab Emirates and Arabian Gulf


Statement Issued by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East

Damascus, February 9, 2017--

The so-called Rev. Yuhanon Aydin is not a priest in the Syriac Orthodox Church and his so-called ordination is invalid because it is not done by the proper ecclesiastical authority.

Based on Article 70 a) of the Constitution of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch: “a Metropolitan shall have no right to interfere in an Archdiocese that does not belong to him. Moreover, he is not allowed to perform church services in it unless permitted by the head of that Archdiocese and with his consent. Also, if he performs any ordinations there, they are considered void, and the matter will be referred to H. H. the Patriarch”. Therefore, the ordination that took place in Brussels – Belgium on the evening of Thursday February 9, 2017 of the so-called Rev. Yuhanon Aydin is void because it was not done by the proper episcopal authority, authorized to perform such an ordination, who is exclusively His Eminence Archbishop Mor George Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese-Patriarchal Vicariate of Belgium, France and Luxemburg, even though the Patriarchate had warned from the consequences of such an illegal and unconstitutional action a day before it took place.
His Holiness the Patriarch directs the members of the Archdiocese-Patriarchal Vicariate of Belgium, France, and Luxemburg, and the faithful throughout the world not to consider or deal with the so-called Rev. Yuhanon Aydin as a priest for he is forbidden from practicing priesthood.

Source: Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate (facebook)



28 members of the Synod support Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II Karim of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch

Statement Issued by the Fathers of the Holy Synod of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch

February 10, 2017

A statement was issued by six archbishops of our Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (four of whom are members in the Holy Synod and two are not) in which they attacked His Holiness our Patriarch, “the Supreme Head of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, the defender of its faith, doctrine, and apostolic traditions, the symbol of its unity, its representative and spokesman everywhere, the general supervisor of all its affairs, and the spiritual father of all Syrian Orthodox people worldwide.” (Article 7 of the Church Constitution) and questioned, in particular, the faith of His Holiness and his adherence to the Orthodox Christian dogma, and permitted themselves to speak on behalf of the Holy Synod declaring their rebellion against Church leadership and Constitution, considering His Holiness an alien to the rank of Patriarch.
We confirm in this statement that carries our names, the following:
1. Our utter condemnation and absolute rejection of everything that appeared in the referenced statement in the form of accusations against our Patriarch, which are hereby declared totally false and hostile positions that incite discord and sow the seeds of division among our people.
2. Our clear declaration that these six archbishops do not, in any way, represent our Holy Synod nor do they speak for any of us.
3. We consider invalid and illegal every and any action that these archbishops conduct in the form of ordinations and any other episcopal services that, contrary to the Constitution of the Church, are carried out without securing the approval of His Holiness the Patriarch (Article 50 – Section H, which states: “All of his [the Metropolitan] activities are subject to the supervision of H.H the Patriarch”, and Article 56, which states: “The Metropolitan will be vigilant in choosing the best priests whom he ordains, according to church rules and traditions after obtaining approval from H.H. the Patriarch”). By their actions, in disobedience of these laws, they are separating themselves from the Church.
4. Our clear call to these six archbishops to follow the path of repentance and for their return from their deviation, subject to the Church canon law in accordance with the Constitution of our Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch.

The fathers of the Synod confirm their standing by the side of the lawful successor of St. Peter, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, who was chosen by the Holy Spirit through his election by the Holy Synod in these difficult circumstances that we are currently witnessing. We value his clear fatherly conduct through his constant presence among his people, particularly during at critical times, and we call upon all Church members, clergy and laity, to pray fervently for the sake of the Holy Church and her shepherds and to rally around the their spiritual leadership.

We ask the Lord God to protect His Church from all evil and to bless her people throughout the world; by the prayers of the Virgin St. Mary, St. Peter, the head of the Apostles and all saints and martyrs.

The names of their eminences the metropolitans:
Mor Gregorios Saliba Chamoun, Patriarchal Advisor
Mor Severius Hawa, Metropolitan of Baghdad and Basra
Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Metropolitan of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli
Mor Timotheos Samuel Aktas, Metropolitan of Tur Abdin and Abbot of Mor Gabriel Monastery
Mor Philoxenus Yusuf Cetin, Patriarchal Vicar in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir
Mor Julius Abdelahad Shabo, Metropolitan of Sweden and Scandinavia
Mor Dioscorus Benjamin Atas, Patriarchal Vicar in Sweden
Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar in Switzerland and Austria
Mor Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh, Metropolitan of Homs and Hama
Mor Athanasius Elia Bahi, Patriarchal Vicar in Canada
Mor Philoxenus Saliba Ozmen, Metropolitan of Mardin and Diyarbakir
Mor Theethose Yeldo, Metropolitan of the Malankara Archdiocese of North America
Mor Nicolaos Matta Abdelahad, Patriarchal Vicar in Spain
Mor Justinos Paulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahla and Bekaa
Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Mor Mattai Monastery
Mor Athanasius Touma Dakkama, Patriarchal Vicar in the United Kingdom
Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs
Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany
Mor Julius Hanna Aydin, Head of Foreign Relations in Germany
Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Metropolitan of Beirut
Mor Polycarpus Augin Aydin, Patriarchal Vicar in Holland
Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh
Mor Dionysius Jean Kawak, Patriarchal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Eastern United States
Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Metropolitan of Mosul, Kurdistan and their Environs
Mor Titus Boulos Touza, Apostolic Nuncio to the Evangelical Churches in Brazil
Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus
Mor Chrysostomos Youhanna Ghassaly, Patriarchal Vicar in Argentina
Mor Yacoub Eduardo Aguirre, Patriarchal Vicar in Central America

Also, in support of this statement:

- His Eminence Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg,
- His Grace Bishop Mor Maurice Amsih, Patriarchal Delegate for the Archdiocese of Jazirah and Euphrates.

https://web.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1220393614722647&id=100606280034725


2017/02/13
Archbishop Hazail Saume: The faith of the Patriarch main reason for our statement

In an exclusive interview with Assyria TV during his visit to Sweden, His Eminence Archbishop Mar Severius Hazail Soumi of Belgium explains the reasons behind his recent statement along with five other bishops where they denounce the supremacy of their patriarch.

Bishop Hazail says Patriarch Mar Ignatius Aphrem II Karim has abused the fundamental pillars of the Christian faith when he kissed the Koran “in the contrary to thousands of faithful whom for centuries had sacrificed their lives refusing to kiss the Koran”, he says. Bishop Hazail insists that Patriarch Karim by doing so has made a big mistake against the Christian faith and therefore should apologize to his people.

As to the letter of bishop Augin Kaplan to his congregation two days after the joint statement, bishop Hazail says it was written by all six bishops together “in order to reach a dialogue with the patriarch and accept a meeting with him in accordance with the wish of the congregations to solve the conflict on neutral soil”.

Finally, we asked; in case no solution will be reached and the six of you will be banished by the patriarch or the Synod, what are you going to do then?

Bishop Hazail says in such a case the person who takes such a decision would be hold responsible for the consequences. “If the majority still will stay with the one who denies the faith, then we have same situation as Jesus and Barabbas”, bishop Hazail adds.

Assyria TV has tried to get a comment from the patriarch or, at least from the bishops in Sweden, but they refused.

Source: ASSYRIA T.V.
http://www.assyriatv.org/2017/02/bishop-hazail-faith-patriarch-main-reason-statement/



Archbishop Abdulahad Gallo Shabo: I have not signed the letter from the synod

Archbishop Abdulahad Gallo Shabo to the Swedish television: ” I say it openly on television. We are all with the Patriarch but we are not With those who lie. It is not okay that they wrote my name there without informing me"

Bishop Abdulahad Gallo Shabo confirmed that he has not signed the letter issued by the Patriarchate.

Tomorrow Swedish television will broadcast a longer interview about this.

Source: ASSYRIA T.V.



Priests’ Sunday – Holy Qurobo

Damascus , February 12, 2017-- His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo on the occasion of Priests’ Sunday at St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral in Bab Touma, Damascus.
He was assisted by His Grace Bishop Mor Maurice Amsih, Patriarchal Delegate for the Archdiocese of Al-Jazeerah and Euphrates.
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the sacred role of the priests and prayed for the peace in the Church and her unity.
Source: SYRIAC PATRIARCHATE

Homily of His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II

Priests' Sunday – St. Georges Patriarchal Cathedral – Damascus – February 12, 2017
  1, 2, 3



The six rebellious bishops backpedal, ask for forgiveness from patriarch

VIDEO: Assyria Tv 
VIDEO 

2017/02/15
Why did the bishops backpedal?

Bishop Hazail explains the U-turn and the excuse to the Patriarch
Source: AssyriaT.V. /Videos


2017/02/17
”Not enough apology by the bishops”

After the Patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church Mar Ignatius Afrem II Karim met with 18 bishops in Lebanon on February 16, 2017, the General Secretariat of the Holy Synod issued a statement on February 17 about the apology of the six rebellious bishops to their patriarch. The statement says that the act of the bishops ”does not reflect true repentance nor does it constitute a clear and explicit apology for all the offenses they committed”.

Source: ASSYRIA T.V.


Source: Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church


CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE


20170130

International Joint Commission For Theological Dialogue Between The Roman Catholic Church and The Oriental Orthodox Churches Meeting held in Rome

Pope Francis poses with attendees at a meeting with representatives of the Oriental Orthodox churches at the Vatican Jan. 27. The representatives were in Rome for a meeting of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

ROME — The 14th meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place in Rome from January 22 to 27, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Roman Catholic Church.

It was chaired jointly by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and by Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.

Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians and Catholicosate of the Holy See of Cilicia), the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
No representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church was able to attend.

The two delegations met separately on January 22 and 23.

During the first plenary session, recent developments in the relations between the two communions were discussed. These included: the visit of Abune Mathias I to Rome (26-29 February), when he was received by Pope Francis; the Apostolic Journey of Pope Francis to Armenia (24-26 June); the meeting of the General Assembly of the Middle East Council of Churches in Amman (6-8 September).

The members also discussed the present situation of Christians in the Middle East. Building upon the previous meeting’s focus on the sacraments of Christian Initiation, the members turned in this meeting to the Holy Eucharist. Papers were presented by Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette; Rev. Father Columba Stewart, OSB; Metropolitan Youhanon Mar Demetrios; Metropolitan Theophilose Kuriakose; Metropolitan Theophilus George Saliba; Metropolitan Gabriel Mar Gregorios (sharing a paper prepared by Dr. B. Varghese); Bishop Paul Rouhana, OLM; Bishop Magar Ashkarian; Rev. Shahe Ananyan; Rev. Frans Bouwen, M.Afr.; Rev. Father Shenouda Maher Ishak; Rev. Father Daniel Seifemichael Feleke.
Papers were presented by the participants from the respective churches on the historical, theological, ecclesiological aspects of the Holy Eucharist as celebrated in the Catholic Church and The Oriental Orthodox Churches. There was also discussion of modern pastoral issues, touching upon communities in diaspora, the challenges of secularism, reaching the young generation, and the possibility of pastoral adaptation of traditional liturgies. The discussion affirmed a common understanding of the doctrine of the Holy Eucharist and agreed that differences on practice in celebration of the Holy Eucharist are not fundamental in matters of doctrine.
On the evening of Tuesday, January 24, many members were able to attend Vespers at the Benedictine Collegio di Sant’Anselmo at the kind invitation of the Right Reverend Gregory Polan, O.S.B., Abbot Primate of the Benedictine Confederation, and to share supper with the community. On Wednesday, January 25, the members remembered at their morning prayer the late Archbishop Mesrob Krikorian of Vienna, a founding member of the Joint Commission, and sent a letter of condolence addressed to Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians. The members attended Vespers Service at the Basilica of St.Paul on the feast of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle which was presided over by His Holiness Pope Franzis.
At the noon on Friday January 27, Pope Franzis received the Dialogue commission members in private audience at Vatican.
In his address to the commission, Pope Franzis said” I encourage you to persevere in your efforts and I trust that your work may point out helpful ways to advance on our journey. It will thus facilitate the path towards that greatly desired day when we will have the grace of celebrating the Lord’s Supper at the same altar, as a sign fully restored ecclesial communion”. Pope prayed for the Christians who are suffering in the Middle East and added that “.. in a particular way, my heart goes out to the bishops, priests, consecrated men and women and the lay faithful who have been cruelly abducted, taken hostage and enslaved”.


Pope Francis greets representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches


Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’s address to the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches

Dear Brothers in Christ,
In offering you a joyful welcome, I thank you for your presence and for the kind words that Metropolitan Bishoy addressed to me on your behalf. Through you, I send cordial greetings to the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, my venerable brothers.
I am grateful for the work of your Commission, which began in 2003 and is now holding its fourteenth meeting. Last year you began an examination of the nature of the sacraments, especially baptism. It is precisely in baptism that we rediscovered the basis of communion between Christians. As Catholics and Oriental Orthodox, we can repeat the words of the Apostle Paul: “For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13). In the course of this week, you have further reflected on historical, theological and ecclesiological aspects of the Holy Eucharist, “the source and summit of the whole Christian life”, which admirably expresses and brings about the unity of God’s people (Lumen Gentium, 11). I encourage you to persevere in your efforts and I trust that your work may point out helpful ways to advance on our journey. It will thus facilitate the path towards that greatly desired day when we will have the grace of celebrating the Lord’s Sacrifice at the same altar, as a sign of fully restored ecclesial communion.
Many of you belong to Churches that witness daily the spread of violence and acts of brutality perpetrated by fundamentalist extremism. We are aware that situations of such tragic suffering more easily take root in the context of great poverty, injustice and social exclusion, due to instability created by partisan interests, often from elsewhere, and by earlier conflicts that have led to situations of dire need, cultural and spiritual deserts where it becomes easy to manipulate and incite people to hatred. Each day your Churches, in drawing near to those who suffer, are called to sow concord and to work patiently to restore hope by offering the consoling peace that comes from the Lord, a peace we are obliged together to bring to a world wounded and in pain.
Saint Paul also writes: “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26). Your sufferings are our sufferings. I join you in praying for an end to the conflict and for God’s closeness to those who have endured so much, especially children, the sick and the elderly. In a particular way, my heart goes out to the bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and the lay faithful who have been cruelly abducted, taken hostage or enslaved.
May the Christian communities be sustained by the intercession and example of our many martyrs and saints who bore courageous witness to Christ. They show us the heart of our faith, which does not consist in a generic message of peace and reconciliation but in Jesus himself, crucified and risen. He is our peace and our reconciliation (cf. Eph 2:14; 2 Cor 5:18). As his disciples, we are called to testify everywhere, with Christian fortitude, to his humble love that reconciles men and women in every age. Wherever violence begets more violence and sows death, there our response must be the pure leaven of the Gospel, which, eschewing strategies of power, allows fruits of life to emerge from arid ground and hope to dawn after nights of terror.
The centre of the Christian life, the mystery of Jesus who died and rose out of love, is also the point of reference for our journey towards full unity. Once more the martyrs show us the way. How many times has the sacrifice of their lives led Christians, otherwise divided in so many things, to unity! The martyrs and saints of all ecclesial traditions are already one in Christ (cf. Jn 17:22); their names are written in the one common martyrology of God’s Church. Having sacrificed themselves on earth out of love, they dwell in the one heavenly Jerusalem, gathered around the Lamb who was slain (cf. Rev 7:13-17). Their lives, offered as a gift, call us to communion, to hasten along the path to full unity. Just as in the early Church the blood of the martyrs was the seed of new Christians, so in our own day may the blood of so many martyrs be a seed of unity between believers, a sign and instrument of a future of communion and peace.
Dear brothers, I am grateful for the efforts you make towards attaining this goal. In thanking you for your visit, I invoke upon you and your ministry the blessing of the Lord and the loving protection of the Holy Mother of God.



The Roman Catholic & Oriental Orthodox Churches – Conclusion of the 14th Session of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue

ROME, VATICAN - On January 28, the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox concluded their 14th Session.

During the session, the Joint Committee discussed issues relating the historical developments of the Sacrament of Holy Communion within the two church families; liturgical-theological specifications and expressions of church study.

On the 28 January session, after submitting their theological reports on the theme “The Sacrament of Holy Communion and the Church”, the Committee members discussed their next meeting.

With the blessings of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, the Committee will convene the next session in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, from January 29 to February 5, 2018.

Topics for the meeting will be on perceptions about the sacred mystery of Repentance, Ordination and anointing of the sick, with the liturgical-theological specifics of the two church families.

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services







20170127

Jesus Is the Point of Reference for the Journey towards Full Unity


by Pope Francis

Descriptive Title
Pope Francis Address to the Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches

Description
On January 27, 2017, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis received in audience the members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church and gave this address.

Publisher & Date
Vatican, January 27, 2017

Dear Brothers in Christ,

In offering you a joyful welcome, I thank you for your presence and for the kind words that Metropolitan Bishoy addressed to me on your behalf. I also thank you for that beautiful and richly meaningful icon of the Blood of Christ, which shows redemption from the womb of the Mother of God. It is indeed lovely. Through you, I send cordial greetings to the Heads of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, my venerable brothers.

I am grateful for the work of your Commission, which began in 2003 and is now holding its fourteenth meeting. Last year you began an examination of the nature of the sacraments, especially baptism. It is precisely in baptism that we rediscovered the basis of communion between Christians. As Catholics and Oriental Orthodox, we can repeat the words of the Apostle Paul: “For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13). In the course of this week, you have further reflected on historical, theological and ecclesiological aspects of the Holy Eucharist, “the source and summit of the whole Christian life”, which admirably expresses and brings about the unity of God’s people (Lumen Gentium, 11). I encourage you to persevere in your efforts and I trust that your work may point out helpful ways to advance on our journey. It will thus facilitate the path towards that greatly desired day when we will have the grace of celebrating the Lord’s Sacrifice at the same altar, as a sign of fully restored ecclesial communion.

Many of you belong to Churches that witness daily the spread of violence and acts of brutality perpetrated by fundamentalist extremism. We are aware that situations of such tragic suffering more easily take root in the context of great poverty, injustice and social exclusion, due to instability created by partisan interests, often from elsewhere, and by earlier conflicts that have led to situations of dire need, cultural and spiritual deserts where it becomes easy to manipulate and incite people to hatred. Each day your Churches, in drawing near to those who suffer, are called to sow concord and to work patiently to restore hope by offering the consoling peace that comes from the Lord, a peace we are obliged together to bring to a world wounded and in pain.

Saint Paul also writes: “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26). Your sufferings are our sufferings. I join you in praying for an end to the conflict and for God’s closeness to those who have endured so much, especially children, the sick and the elderly. In a particular way, my heart goes out to the bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, and the lay faithful who have been cruelly abducted, taken hostage or enslaved.

May the Christian communities be sustained by the intercession and example of our many martyrs and saints who bore courageous witness to Christ and have themselves attained full unity. So what are we waiting for? The martyrs show us the heart of our faith, which does not consist in a generic message of peace and reconciliation but in Jesus himself, crucified and risen. He is our peace and our reconciliation (cf. Eph 2:14; 2 Cor 5:18). As his disciples, we are called to testify everywhere, with Christian fortitude, to his humble love that reconciles men and women in every age. Wherever violence begets more violence and sows death, there our response must be the pure leaven of the Gospel, which, eschewing strategies of power, allows fruits of life to emerge from arid ground and hope to dawn after nights of terror.

The centre of the Christian life, the mystery of Jesus who died and rose out of love, is also the point of reference for our journey towards full unity. Once more the martyrs show us the way. How many times has the sacrifice of their lives led Christians, otherwise divided in so many things, to unity! The martyrs and saints of all ecclesial traditions are already one in Christ (cf. Jn 17:22); their names are written in the one common martyrology of God’s Church. Having sacrificed themselves on earth out of love, they dwell in the one heavenly Jerusalem, gathered around the Lamb who was slain (Rev 7:13-17). Their lives, offered as a gift, call us to communion, to hasten along the path to full unity. Just as in the early Church the blood of the martyrs was the seed of new Christians, so in our own day may the blood of so many martyrs be a seed of unity between believers, a sign and instrument of a future of communion and peace.

Dear brothers, I am grateful for the efforts you make towards attaining this goal. In thanking you for your visit, I invoke upon you and your ministry the blessing of the Lord and the loving protection of the Mother of God.

And now, if you so feel, we can pray together, each in his own language, the Our Father.

[Our Father]

courtesy of CatholicCulture.org
CATHOLIC CULTURE


20160326

HOLY FRIDAY Crucifixion Service held in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin


Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services, 25 March, 2016

Holy Friday, March 25, marks the Commemoration of the Crucifixion and Burial of Our Lord Jesus Christ . The Crucifixion Service was held in the afternoon, in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin.

Source: The Information Services of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin



Holy Friday Burial Service
Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services, 25 March, 2016

Holy Friday, March 25, marks the Commemoration of the Crucifixion and Burial of Our Lord Jesus Christ . The Burial Service was held in the evening, presided by His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians. At the end of the service, the symbolic tomb of our Lord Jesus Christ, covered in flowers, was processed around the Cathedral led by His Holiness, members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin and the faithful.

Source: The Information Services of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

Catholicos of All Armenians Offered Washing of the Feet Service in Mother Cathedral


Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services, 24 March, 2016--

On Holy Thursday, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presided during the Washing of the Feet service in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin. His Holiness washed the feet of 12 men. The service commemorates Christ washing the feet of the 12 Apostles following the Last Supper, prior to his arrest and suffering.
The service began with a prayer. Members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin read scripture passages and the speech “About Love” by Archimandrite Hovhannes Pluz.

His Holiness then blessed the water and oil on the altar, after which, under the singing of hymns, His Holiness following the example of the Lord, kneeled down before twelve men and washed their feet and anointed them with oil.
Among the 12 were members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Grace Bishop Mushegh Babayan and Rev. Fr. Zakaria Baghumyan; Gevorkian Theological Seminary Graduate Deacon Harutyun Keshishian; soldiers Samvel Minasyan and Hrach Chobanyan; students of the Yerevan State University Theological Faculty Vahagn Grigoryan and Hovhannes Muradian; and children from the Mother See’s Eurnekian Public School, David Sargsyan, Bayandur Harutyunyan, Ruben Tadevosyan, Melik Kondyan and Melik Melikyan.
Following the conclusion of the service, the blessed oil was distributed to the faithful.

Source: The Information Services of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin


Holy Thursday Divine Liturgy Celebrated in the Mother Cathedral


Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services, 24 March, 2016

March 24, Holy Thursday, the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church commemorated the Last Supper our Lord Jesus Christ, and the establishment of the sacrament of Holy Communion.

His Grace Bishop Hovnan Hagopyan, Grand Sacristan of the Mother See, offered the Morning Service and the Karg Apashkharoghats (Service for those who are fasting).

Following Morning Services, a solemn Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Mother Cathedral by Rev. Fr. Aghan Yernjakyan, Staff Bearer of His Holiness.

During the Divine Liturgy the sermon of St. Basil of Caesarea was read.

Source: The Information Services of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin




Holy Thursday - Betrayal Service at the Mother See

Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Information Services, 25 March, 2016

March 24 – in the evening of Holy Thursday, in the Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; presided over the Betrayal Service in memory of the betrayal and torture of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Source: The Information Services of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

20160325

Catholicos of the East presides over Chrism Mass Maundy Thursday

Catholicos H.H. Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II of the East washing the feet of priests at St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Pazhanji, on the occasion of Maundy Thursday —Photo courtasy: St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Pazhanji

Kottayam, India : Catholicos- Patriarch of the East His Holiness Baselius Mar-Thoma Paulose II presided over the celebration of the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass at St. Mary's Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Pazhanji (Diocese of Kunnamkulam) on 24 March 2016.

Maundy Thursday, commemorating the day when Jesus established the Eucharist and partook of the last supper with his disciples, was observed in all Indian Orthodox churches throughout the world. The main ceremony of the day involved washing the feet of 12 persons chosen to represent the 12 apostles of Christ. His Holiness Baselius Mar Thoma Paulose II washed the feet of priests at the St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral.

The Orthodox Syrian Metropolitan of of the Diocese Kandanad East His Eminence Dr Thomas Mar Athanasius performing the foot-washing ceremony held at St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Muvattupuzha on Thursday —Photo courtasy: Mizpah Centre

At the St. Thomas Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, Muvattupuzha His Eminence Dr Thomas Mar Athanasius, the Indian Orthodox Metropolitan of the Diocese of Kandanad East, led the ceremonies and washed the feet of the 12 chosen priests.

Click on the Pictures to enlarge it in full size so that you will get it in high resolution.

20160220

Report of the Thirteenth Meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches


Here is the report issued at the conclusion of the Thirteenth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Roman Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches. The meeting took place January 30 to February 6, 2016 in Egypt.


INTERNATIONAL JOINT COMMISSION FOR THEOLOGICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE ORIENTAL ORTHODOX CHURCHES

REPORT

Thirteenth Meeting

Cairo, Egypt, January 30 to February 6, 2016

The thirteenth meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place at the Saint Mark Coptic Center in Cairo, Egypt, from January 31 to February 6, 2016, hosted by the Coptic Orthodox Church. It was chaired jointly by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and by His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette.

Joining delegates from the Catholic Church were representatives of the following Oriental Orthodox Churches: the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), the Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Cilicia), the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. No representative of the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church was able to attend.

In the afternoon of Sunday January 31, the members of the Joint Commission, accompanied by the Apostolic Nuncio, traveled to St. Bishoy Monastery in Wadi Natrun in order to be received by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church. His Holiness received the members very warmly in the new church headquarters that has been built within the monastic compound. In his spontaneous address, he spoke about the present state of the Coptic Orthodox Church and offered his prayerful good wishes for the success of the dialogue. Pope Tawadros then gave the members a tour of the new headquarters, including the new hall that has been constructed for meetings of the Holy Synod. His Holiness announced that he considered the presence there of the members of the Joint Commission to constitute the formal opening of the new Synod hall. The members also visited St. Bishoy monastery itself along with the tomb of Pope Shenouda III before returning to Cairo.

The two delegations met separately on February 1. Plenary sessions were held on February 2, 3, 4 and 5, each of which began with a brief prayer service based on material prepared for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. In the evening of Thursday February 4, the members attended a reception in their honor at the Apostolic Nunciature hosted by His Excellency Archbishop Bruno Musarò, Apostolic Nuncio in Egypt and the Arab League.

During the first plenary session, which was also attended by Archbishop Musarò, recent developments in the relations between the two communions were discussed. Among these was the presence of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of all Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia at the Holy Eucharist celebrated by His Holiness Pope Francis on Sunday April 12, 2015 in St. Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the Armenian genocide and to proclaim Saint Gregory of Narek as a Doctor of the Catholic Church. On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis received His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. From 22 to 25 April 2015, Cardinal Koch traveled to Armenia to attend the canonization of Armenian Martyrs and the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian genocide that took place in the Holy See of Etchmiadzin. From 17 to 20 July 2015, Cardinal Koch traveled to Lebanon to attend the celebration of the blessing of the Holy Myron and the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Martyrs, held in the Holy See of Cilicia (Antelias). During the opening session congratulations were also extended to Fr Shahe Ananyan, a representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholicosate of All Armenians), who has been appointed as the Director of the Catholicosate’s Ecumenical Relations Department, replacing His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, who is now serving as the Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian church in Great Britain and Ireland.

During the course of the meeting, the Sacraments of Initiation in the participating churches stood at the center of a substantial discussion. Papers were presented by Metropolitan Bishoy of Damiette; Rev. Father Mark Sheridan, OSB; Archbishop Theophilos George Saliba; Rev. Father Frans Bouwen, M.Afr.; Bishop Paul Rouhana, OLM.; and Rev. Father Columba Stewart, OSB (read in his absence). Consideration was given to the scriptural and patristic foundation of baptism, the specific developments in the Latin tradition of the Sacraments of Initiation, and the correlation between Church and sacraments. There was general agreement that Baptism is the pathway and key of all sacraments. The members found that a deeper examination of this topic would be beneficial within the Joint Commission’s broader study of the sacraments and their relationship to the Church.

The next meeting of the Joint Commission will take place in Rome, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Members will plan to arrive on January 21, 2017, with family meetings on January 23, followed by plenary meetings January 24, 25, 26, and 27 with departures on January 28.

The members of the Commission are:

Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox Churches (in alphabetical order)


Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church: H.E. Mor Theophilus George Saliba, Archbishop of Mount Lebanon, Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Beirut, Lebanon; H.E. Kuriakose Theophilose, Metropolitan of the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary and President of the Ecumenical Secretariat of the Antiochian Syrian Orthodox Church in India, Ernakulam, India;

Armenian Apostolic Church: Catholicosate of all Armenians: H.E. Khajag Barsamian, Archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the USA, New York (unable to attend, represented by H.G. Armash Nalbandian, Bishop of the Armenian Orthodox Diocese of Damascus); Rev. Father Shahe Ananyan, Director of the Department of Ecumenical Relations, Etchmiadzin, Armenia (unable to attend);

Armenian Apostolic Church: Holy See of Cilicia: H.E. Archbishop Nareg Alemezian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Nicosia; H.G. Bishop Magar Ashkarian, Armenian Prelacy, Teheran, Iran (unable to attend);

Coptic Orthodox Church: H.E. Anba Bishoy, Metropolitan of Damiette, Egypt (co-chair); Rev. Fr. Shenouda Maher Ishak, West Henrietta, New York, USA; H.G. Bishop Daniel of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Sydney, Australia (Observer); H.G. Bishop Barnaba El Soryany, Rome, Italy (Observer);

Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church: Rev. Fr. Kaleab Gebreselassie Gebru, Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Patriarchate, Asmara, Eritrea (unable to attend);

Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church: Archbishop Gabriel of Sidamo; Rev. Fr. Daniel Seifemichael Feleke of Holy Trinity Theological University College in Addis Ababa;

Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church: H.E. Metropolitan Dr. Gabriel Mar Gregorios, President of the Department of Ecumenical Relations and Metropolitan of the Diocese of Trivandrum, India; H.E. Metropolitan Dr. Youhanon Mar Demetrios (co-secretary), Metropolitan of the Diocese of Delhi, India.

Representatives of the Catholic Church

His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (co-chair);

Most Reverend Paul-Werner Scheele, Bishop Emeritus of Würzburg, Germany;

Most Reverend Youhanna Golta, Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of the Coptic Catholic Patriarchate, Cairo, Egypt;

Most Reverend Archbishop Basilios Georges Casmoussa, Syrian Catholic Patriarchate, Beirut, Lebanon;

Most Reverend Peter Marayati, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria (unable to attend;

Most Reverend Woldetensae Ghebreghiorghis, Apostolic Vicar of Harar, Ethiopia, President of the Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Church in Ethiopia and Eritrea;

Most Reverend Paul Rouhana, OLM, Bishop of the Patriarchal Maronite Vicariate of Sarba, Jounieh, Lebanon;

Most Reverend Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Istanbul and Turkey;

Rev. Fr. Frans Bouwen M.Afr., Sainte-Anne, Jerusalem;

Rev. Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, Executive Director, Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Saint John’s Abbey and University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA (unable to attend);

Rev. Fr. Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, US Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC, USA;

Rev. Fr. Mark Sheridan, OSB, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo, Rome, and Abu Ghosh, Israel;

Rev. Malpan Fr. Mathew Vellanickal, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Changanacherry, India;

Prof. Dietmar W. Winkler, Consultant to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Salzburg, Austria.

Rev. Monsignor Gabriel Quicke, Official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Rome (co-secretary).