Patriarchate News

On February 22, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II visited His Excellency Mr. Sleiman Frnagieh, Head of the Marada Current in Lebanon, at his residence in Bnashii, Zgharta – Lebanon.
 
His Holiness discussed with His Excellency the current situation of Christians in the Middle East, especially in Lebanon and Syria.
 
His Eminence Archbishop Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar in the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, accompanied His Holiness to this meeting which was attended by Mr. Ghassan Shami, Mr. Jean Khoury, Mr. Boutros Frangieh and Mr. Antoine Fenyanos.
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On February 21, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received Rev. Haroutioun Selimian, Representative of the Armenian Protestant Church in Syria, at the Patriarchal Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
During the meeting, His Holiness and Rev. Selimian spoke about the current situation in Syria, especially after the liberation of Aleppo.
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On February 15, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, at his palace in Abu Dhabi.
 
His Excellency welcomed His Holiness in the U.A.E. and expressed his pleasure to meet with the head of the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch. His Holiness thanked His Excellency for his warm welcome and showed his gladness towards religious tolerance in the Emirates. During their meeting, His Holiness and His Excellency discussed various cultural and religious issues, and spoke about the history of our Syriac Church and that of the Arab countries.
 
The meeting was attended by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Eustatheos Ishak, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE for the Jacobite Syrian Church, Mor Bartholmaeus Nathanael Youssef, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE and the Arab Gulf, and Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, Very Rev. Fr. Markose Abraham, Patriarchal Secretary for Indian Affairs, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
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On February 14, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II met with the newly appointed General Managing Committee in the UAE, in the presence of their Eminences: Archbishops: Mor Eustatheos Ishak, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE for the Jacobite Syrian Church, Mor Bartholmaeus Nathanael Youssef, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE and the Arab Gulf, and Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant.
 
His Holiness congratulated the new members of the council and encouraged them to work together with His Eminence the Archbishop for the best of the parishes in the UAE.
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On February 14, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II celebrated the Holy Qurobo at St. Ignatius Cathedral in Dubai, on the occasion of the Feast of Patriarch Mor Ignatius Elias III.
 
He was assisted by their Eminences: Archbishops: Mor Eustatheos Ishak, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE for the Jacobite Syrian Church, and Mor Bartholmaeus Nathanael Youssef, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE and the Arab Gulf, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, and Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant.
 
In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the circumstances that Patriarch Ignatius Elias III lived in, especially the persecutions and massacres that he witnessed. He spoke about his mission as messenger of peace and that he dedicated his life to worship of the Lord and witnessing to Him. His Holiness stressed that the Lord had chosen the saint Patriarch to lead the church by gather its flock around Christ our Lord. He mentioned the characteristics of his saintly biography, especially his love for ascetic life and work for unity.
 
At the end of the Holy Qurobo, His Holiness blessed the new church committee and thanked the old one for their dedication and work for the sake of the church. He also launched the new church phone application which will enable the parishioners to share and learn more about their parish and their church.
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On February 13, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II presided over ramsho (evening) prayer at Mor Ignatius Cathedral in Dubai.
 
Their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Eustatheos Ishak, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE for the Jacobite Syrian Church, and Mor Bartholmaeus Nathanael Youssef, Patriarchal Vicar in the UAE and the Arab Gulf were also present at the prayer.
 
His Holiness offered the service of saint Mor Ignatius Elias III on the occasion of the commemoration of his passing away in India. In his sermon, His Holiness spoke about the hatred of the world to Christian believers because they walk in the path of the Lord. He emphasized that love towards everyone, even our enemies, should be our way of life and witness to Christ and our victory over hatred in this world. He also spoke about the life of St. Ignatius Elias III as well as his work for peace in the Holy Syriac Orthodox Church. He especially mentioned his travel to India despite his old age and illness to bring peace to the church there. His Holiness thanked the faithful of St. Ignatius Cathedral in Dubai for their love to the Church and their zeal to preserve the faith of the forefathers.
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On February 11, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mor Youhanna Jihad Battah, Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Damascus, at the Patriarchal Headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
The meeting was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
During the meeting, His Holiness and His Excellency spoke about the good relations that bring the two sister churches together as well as the common work that they can do together in offering a common witness to the Lord in the society. His Excellency seized the opportunity to congratulate His Holiness on the success of Antioch University, wishing the best for this academic year.
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On February 10, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Hans-Peter Glanzer, Charge d’Affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Damascus, and the secretary of the embassy Mr. Daniel Kreuzhuber, at the Patriarchate headquarters in Bab Touma – Damascus.
 
During the meeting, His Holiness discussed with His Excellency the general situation in Syria and the developments towards more security and peace in the country.
 
The meeting was attended by their Eminences Archbishops: Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, Mor Yacoub Babawi, Patriarchal Vicar for the Affairs of the Monks and Administration of Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary in Maarat Saydnaya, Very Rev. Raban Saliba Saliba, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary, and Media Office Director.
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On February 9, 2020, upon the invitation of His Excellency Archbishop Samir Nassar, Maronite Archbishop of Damascus, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the Holy Qurobo for the Feast of St. Maron according to the Calendar of the Maronite Church. His Excellency Archbishop Nassar celebrated the Qurobo at St. Antonios Maronite Cathedral in Damascus.
 
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Boutros Kassis, Patriarchal Assistant, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.
 
The Qurobo was also attended by His Eminence Cardinal Mario Zenari, the Apostolic Nuncio in Damascus, as well as representatives of the Christian Churches in Damascus.
 

On February 5, 2020, His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II received His Excellency Mr. Jorgen Lindstrom, Charge d’Affaires of the Swedish Embassy in Damascus, at the Patriarchate Headquarters in Bab Touma, Damascus.

His Holiness welcomed His Excellency and discussed with him issues related to the situation of Christians in the Middle East as well as the effects of immigration on their presence in their homeland. He also spoke about the work of development and humanitarian assistance that the Patriarchate is offering.

His Excellency spoke about the role of Sweden in supporting Christians who are persecuted. He also spoke about the Swedish society which welcomes emigrants and offers a suitable environment for preserving their national cultures as well as their native languages. He expressed the pioneer role of Sweden in guaranteeing freedom of religion to all those who live there.

The meeting was attended by His Eminence Archbishop Mor Anthimos Jack Yacoub, Patriarchal Vicar for Youth Affairs and Christian Education, and Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director.

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