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 June 23, 2011

The forty-seventh session of the Holy Synod of Antioch met in the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand from the 21st to the 23rd of June, 2011, presided by His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim). In attendance were Their Eminences, the metropolitans and fathers of the Holy Synod of Antioch:


Spiridon (Khoury) of Zahleh and Baalbek, Georges (Khodr) of Jbeil, Batroun, Yuhanna (Mansour) of Lattakia, Elias (Audi) of Beirut, Iliya (Saliba) of Hama, Elias (Kfoury) of Tyre, Sidon, and Marjayoun, Antonio (Chedraoui) of Mexico, Venezuela, and the Caribbean Islands, Sergio (Abad) of Santiago and Chile, Damaskinos (Mansour) of Sao Paulo and Brazil, Saba (Esber) of Bosra, Jebel al-Arab, and Hawran, Paul (Saliba) of Australia and New Zealand, George (Abu Zakhm) of Homs, Boulos (Yazigi) of Aleppo and Alexandretta, Silouan (Mousa) of Argentina, Youhanna (Yazigi) of Europe, Basil (Mansour) of Akkar, Ephrem (Kyriakos) of Tripoli and al-Koura, as well as Archbishop Niphon (Saikali), Representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch in Moscow, Bishop Ghattas (Hazim), Abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand and Dean of the St. John of Damascus Theological Institute, and Economos Georges Dimas, secretary of the Synod.


Metropolitan Philip (Saliba) of New York and North America gave his regrets and Metropolitan Constantine (Papastephanou) of Baghdad and Kuwait was unable to attend.

After prayer and calling upon the grace of the Holy Spirit, especially because we are still in the atmosphere of Glorious Pentecost, and asking the blessing of The Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary, protectress of this monastery, the fathers of the Synod began discussion of the agenda covering various ecclesial, local, national, and ecumenical topics.


The fathers studied issues that concern the faithful from spiritual, pastoral, social, and national perspectives. Together, they carefully examined pastoral needs, in both the home countries and outside, in order for the Church to have an effective presence serving her children and caring for their needs and concerns.


The fathers saw that the service of the Church in all its aspects and especially in the countries outside Antioch is in need of a living witness and an effective revival that would embrace all aspects of pastoral, social, and humanitarian work. They praised the effective revival of the Church working within the societies in which her children live in the countries outside Antioch, which causes them to rejoice with their brother bishops wherever they are found renewing the announcement of the Gospel with a spirit of faith and modernity that is attuned to new generations.

After profound discussion on the concept of pastoral and evangelical work, the fathers of the Synod paused over the topic of communications and its importance in all media. They found that this matter is in need of a careful study done by experts in that field. Thus, His Eminence Metropolitan Boulos of Aleppo was asked to review his study offered at the October session of the Holy Synod in 2010, and consult media specialists, in order to submit it again at the regular session of the Holy Synod this coming October.


The fathers also decided to congratulate their brother Bishop Ghattas (Hazim) in his new responsibility as Abbot of the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand and Dean of the St. John of Damascus Institute of Theology, and they wished him continuous success in his work. His Grace gave a detailed report about the academic year 2010-2011.

When the fathers of the Synod looked at the areas of this and that archdiocese and their expansiveness both in the home country and abroad, they decided to elect, each of which will be an auxiliary to the metropolitan of the archdiocese in all pastoral, educational, and administrative matters. Each of them is well-educated in theological and worldly affairs.

The elected bishops will be entrusted with the service and shepherding of souls in the patriarchal residence and the archdioceses of the home countries and outside. The names of those elected are as follows:

Archimandrite Doctor Nicholas (Baalbaki)- the patriarchal residence in Damascus
Archimandrite Constantine (Kayal)- the patriarchal residence in Damascus
Archimandrite Isaac (Barakat)- the patriarchal residence in Damascus
Archimandrite Antonius (Fahd)- Archdiocese of Akkar- Tartous
Archimandrite Demitrius (Sharbak)- Archdiocese of Akkar- Safayta
Archimandrite Iliya (Tohme)- Archdiocese of Akkar- Marmarita
Archimandrite Ignatius (Samaan)- Archdiocese of Mexico
Archimandrite Ignatius (al-Hoshi)- Archdiocese of Europe- Berlin, Germany
Archimandrite Ephrem (Maalouli)- Archdiocese of Europe- London, UK
Archimandrite Romanos (Daoud)- Archdiocese of Brazil- Sao Paulo
Archimandrite Morcos (Khoury)- Archdiocese of Brazil- Sao Paulo

Each of them will be attached to the archdiocese to which they were appointed, after they receive Episcopal consecration from the hand of His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV.

At the closing of the session, the bishops-elect present in the home country were invited to attend. They offered their obedience and thankfulness to His Beatitude the Patriarch and to the fathers of the Synod. The Synod closed its session with prayer for His Beatitude, our Father Ignatius IV.

Issued by the secretariat of the Holy Synod of Antioch

- Balamand, June 23, 2011


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