Patriarchate News

On December 13, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II participated in a roundtable discussion on the persecuted Christians, at the Public Service University in Budapest, upon the invitation of Members of the European Parliament as well as Members of the Hungarian Parliament.

His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar at the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.

His Holiness spoke about the current situation of Christians in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria. He emphasized that the massive exodus of Christians from their homeland has drastic effects on the region and that there is a need to support Christians remain in their homeland. He renewed the appeal to the International Community to help in all ways possible to the return of the abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim. He also spoke about the different humanitarian projects that the Patriarchate is implementing, mostly through EPDC, to support the suffering people in Syria and Iraq and thanked the Hungarian government for their continuous support for the churches in the Middle East.

 

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On December 13, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited the Hungarian Institute of Musicology.
 
He was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Mata Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.
 
His Holiness was received at the institute by Prof Pál Richter, Director of the Institute, and Prof Balázs Déri, leader of Eastern Liturgy Research Group.
 
His Holiness was informed about the archiving processes held by the institute for the Syriac music and liturgy. He praised the great efforts made by the institute to preserve the Syriac heritage, and discussed means of collaboration between the institute and Antioch Syrian University, as well as the Syriac Cultural Center being built in Damascus.
 

On December 12, 2018, upon the invitation of the Hungarian Government, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Excellency Zsolt Semjén, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, in Hungary.
 
His Excellency Tristan Azbej, State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians, also attended the meeting.
 
His Holiness discussed with their Excellencies matters related to the situation in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq. He also thanked the Hungarian Government for the support it provides to the persecuted Christians, and assured that helping Christians remain fixed in their lands and live in dignity is the best way to show support and love.
 
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.Click to view slideshow.

 

On December 11, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and His Beatitude Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, visited the Holy Cross Monastery near Vienna – Austria.
 
They were received by the Rev. Abbot of the Monastery Fr. Maximilian Haim, and the monks of the monastery. He expressed his joy to receive His Holiness and His Beatitude and have their blessing.
 
During the meeting, His Holiness and His Beatitude noted the good relations between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Syriac Catholic Church. They also spoke about the situation in the Middle East, reassuring the importance of protecting the presence of Christianity in the region.
 
Then, His Holiness and His Beatitude presided over evening (Ramsho) prayer in the Church of the monastery. At the end, they gave their blessing to all the monks of the monastery.
 
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.Click to view slideshow.

 

On December 11, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with His Excellency Austrian Chancellor Mr. Sebastian Kurz, at the chancellery of Austria.
 
Their Beatitudes Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and Cardinal Mar Louis Rafael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, and His Eminence Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, also attended the meeting.
 
His Excellency welcomed His Holiness and their Beatitudes, and expressed his full support to the persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
 
They assured that what is needed is to help Christians remain fixed and live with dignity in the land of the forefathers.
 
His Holiness expressed his worries that the Middle East, which is the cradle of Christianity, is being emptied of Christians according to political agendas. He also showed his disturbance from the international indifference concerning the case of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji. He also stressed that the priority in Syria and Iraq is for humanitarian resolutions rather than political or military solutions.
 
Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.Click to view slideshow.

 

On December 11, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II and Their Beatitudes Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and Cardinal Mar Louis Rafael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, held a common interview with the media, at the residence of the Archbishopric in Vienna – Austria.
 
They assured the importance of preserving the presence of Christians in the Middle East.
 
His Holiness stressed the significance of having governments that ensure equality between all citizens of one country, regardless of their faith and denomination.
 

December 11, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met His Eminence Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, at the residence of the Archbishopric in Vienna – Austria.

Their Beatitudes Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, and Cardinal Mar Louis Rafael I Sako, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, also attended the meeting. His Eminence welcomed His Holiness and their Beatitudes and discussed with them matters related to the presence of Christians in the Middle East. They assured that all efforts should be unified to protect this presence, and ensure the basic rights of Christians as original citizens of the region.

His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus.

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On December 9, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Mr. Marc-André Hensel, Regional Director – Syria Crisis Response at World Vision, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Mr. Shadi Sarweh, Executive Director of St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC), attended the meeting.
During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with his guest the relief and development projects executed by our Patriarchate through EPDC, and ways of cooperation between the committee and World Vision.Click to view slideshow.

 

On December 9, 2018, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Dr. Thuraya Bachaalani, Acting General Secretary of the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.

She was accompanied by Ms. Huguette Salameh, Communication and Public Relations Department Director, and Mr. Ghassan Shahin, Director of MECC-Syria.
 
His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, attended the meeting.
 
Dr. Bachaalani reported to His Holiness about the administrative and theological projects led by MECC. They also discussed the agenda of the next meeting of the Executive Committee of MECC which will be hosted by our Syriac Orthodox Church next January.
 
Mr. Shahin gave an overview about the relief and help projects executed by MECC in Syria with the collaboration of St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC) as well as all the relief committees of the member churches.
 
Then, Ms. Salameh reported about the work of the department of communication and public relation, remarking the department’s aim of moving from the informative media towards media of positional media.
 
His Holiness assured that the role of the member churches is to support the work of the council for what important mission it has in strengthening the presence of Christians in the Middle East in the face of all agendas that aim at the opposite.
 

On December 8, 2018, on the occasion of the International Volunteers Day (Dec 5), His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met a group of volunteers who serve various projects at St. Ephrem Patriarchal Development Committee (EPDC), at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.Mr. Shadi Sarweh, Executive Director of EPDC, welcomed His Holiness, and gave an overview about the work of EPDC.

His Holiness encouraged the volunteers to continue serving their fellow human beings, carrying to them a message of love, service, sacrifice, and self giving.He emphasized the role of volunteers, who spend their spare time serving others, in the relief and support of people affected by crises, especially children and vulnerable people.

At the end of the meeting, His Holiness presented tokens of appreciation for the distinguished volunteers who showed leadership and enthusiasm in their work.

His Holiness was accompanied by Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Dayroyo Boutros Dekrmenjian.

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