Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Annual Syriac Catholic Bishop's Synod

Moran Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan has officially opened the Annual Syriac Catholic Synod in Chareh Seminary Lebanon by celebrating the Divine Offering.

Moran Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan with Syriac Catholic Bishops

Firstly, it is good to see all our Bishops get together (except for the Archbishop of Aleppo who could not come for security reasons, please pray). Wearing proper vestments (I can live with the Lace and the Mitre for now), and nearly all wearing their Eskime (monastic hoods). I will hope and pray that it goes well, and that some (ie Bishop Flavien Joseph Melki ) will advance the cause for a more traditional Syriac Liturgy, Spirituality and Theology to be espoused to the faithful.

It is, however a disappointment to once again see potential interference from Rome in our own business. The Papal Nunico of Lebanon, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, seems to be lurking around. While this may not seem to be a problem, recent history shows that the Papal Nuncio is given more than a ceremonial role. Just like in past synods, such as when our Patriarch was elected and, if I am not mistaken, when the current Maronite Patriarch was elected.

The simple fact is, the Papal Nuncio should be a passive observer at best at any synod held by an Eastern Church. And if a new Patriarch needs to be elected, the Papal Nuncio should not be there at all (as has been in the past). It is important to note here that the recent Chaldean Patriarch was elected in Rome after a retreat led by A LATIN BISHOP!

Ignatius Joseph III Younan with Papal Nuncio of Lebanon Bishop Gabriel Katchia
Now, the question here is. Who's fault is it that there is potential Roman influence in our synod. The official report (Arabic), says that the Papal Nuncio was invited by Ignatius Joseph III Younan. But let us just pray that the Papal Nuncio will not be interfering in our business (as has been in the past).

Other (non-interfering) guests that Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan has invited include Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zaka Iwas (who was not able to come due to his poor health, please pray for him) and Syriac Orthodox Bishop for Mount Lebanon Mor Theophilos George Saliba. His words expressed a deep desire for unity stating that "we are truly one Church and one people united by tradition , heritage and the Holy Syriac Language, the language of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Mother". I would like to remind the reader here to pray for full communion between the Catholic and Orthodox.

I hope that this synod is a success and I will keep you updated on the comings and goings of it.

Through the prayers of the Birth-Giver of God Maryam, and Mor Ephrem. God Bless you all.


  1. Do you happen to know where the Patriarch Emeritus resides and why is he absent from the Synod meeting?

  2. "Just like in past synods when our Patriarch got elected and if I am not mistaken, when the current Maronite Patriarch was elected."

    When Moran Mor Ignatios Yowsef was elected, Rome did intervene, but it was an odd case and I think it was necessary since the Synod failed to do anything on its own for far too long. Whether there was interference by Rome beyond that, I don't know, but I also don't think Moran Mor Igantios Yowsef was a bad choice.

    As for the election of the current Maronite Patriarch, sadly yes, there was interference by Rome. Just as there was interference in every Maronite Patriarchal election starting in 1955.

  3. The seminary has a beautiful chapel.

    1. You are right. A Church without red curtains is like a ship without sails