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Thursday, June 22, 2017

New Patriarch of Antioch for Greek Melkites

The Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Melkite Church, assembled in Ain Traz (Lebanon) has elected a new Patriarch of Antioch for the Greek-Melkites, His Excellency, Joseph Absi, a member of the Society of Missionaries of Saint Paul.  Until now, His Excellency has held the titular office of Bishop of Tarso for Greek-Melkites and has exercised his ministry at the Patriarchal Curia of Damascus.

His Beatitude has assumed the name of Youssef Absi.


His Beatitude, Youssef Absi
Patriarch of Antioch for Greek-Melkites

His Beatitude, Youssef Absi was born in Damascus on 20 June 1946 and entered the Society of the Missionaries of Saint Paul, where he was ordained a priest on 6 May 1973.

After having concluded his studies in philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary of Saint Paul in Harissa (Lebanon), he later earned a Licence i Philosophy at the Lebanese University, a Licence in Theology at the Saint Paul Institute in Harissa and a Doctorate in Musical Sciences and Byzantine Hymnody at the St. Esprit University in Kaslik (Lebanon).

He served as Professor of Philosophy at the Saint Paul Institute, of Greek and of Music at the St. Esprit University in Kaslik.  He also held the office of Superior General of his Religious Institute.

On 15 July 2001, he was appointed Titular Archbishop of Tarso for Greek-Melkites at the Patriarchal Curia of Damascus.

The Holy Father has accorded Ecclesial Communion in conformity with Canon 76 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches to His Beatitude, Youssef Absi, canonically elected as Patriarch of Antioch for Greek-Melkites on 21 June 2017 by the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Church.

Following is the text of the Message that the Holy Father, Pope Francis sent to the new Patriarch of Antioch for Greek-Melkites, granting him Ecclesial Communion.


Message of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
addressed to His Beatitude, Youssef
Patriarch of Antioch of the Greek-Melkites

It is with great joy that I received the letter in which you informed me about your election as Patriarch of Antioch for Greek-Melkites by the Synod of Bishops, and asking me for Ecclesiastical Communion.

I wish to congratulate you and to assure you beginning at this moment of my prayer that Christ, the Good Shepherd will support you in the accomplishment of the mission that he entrusts to you for the service that is asked of you.

Your Beatitude's election takes place in a delicate situation for the venerable Greek-Melkite Church and at a time when many of the Christian communities in the Middle East, called to bear witness in a special way to their faith in Christ who died and rose again.  In this particularly difficult time, Pastors are called to demonstrate communion, unity, closeness, solidarity ad transparency before the suffering people of God.

I am certain that Your Beatitude, in a fraternal harmony with all the Synod Fathers, will, in evangelistic wisdom, be not only Pater et Caput (Father and Head) in service to the faithful of the Greek-Melkite Church, but also a faithful and authentic witness of the Risen Christ.

This is the reason why, Your Beatitude, as the successor of Peter, called by Jesus to preserve his Church in unity, with profound joy I grant you the Ecclesiastical Communion you have requested in conformity with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Confiding you to the maternal protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, I willingly grant to you the Apostolic Blessing which I also extend to the bishops, priests, religious men and women and to all the faithful of the Greek-Melkite Church.

From the Vatican
22 June 2017

Francis
(original text in French)
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