Eastern Church: December 2012 Archives
The 85 year old Chaldean Patriarch and Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly resigned today.
The Pope accepted his resignation and has called for a special synod of bishops of the Chaldean Church to meet on January 28, 2013 to be supervised by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.
The Chaldean Church will be governed by Archbishop Jacques Ishaq, 74, a curial bishop. The Chaldean Church in Iraq numbers about 450K+ and 1.5 million worldwide.
Patriarch Emmanuel III was ordained 60 years ago today; has been a bishop since 1963. When he was elected he was a retired bishop. Benedict XVI nominated him a cardinal in 2007.
Delly attended several sessions of Vatican II.
The Orthodox equivalent to the Chaldean Church is The Assyrian Church of the East who has its headquarters in Chicago, governed by Patriarch Dinkha IV. In the USA, there are two Catholic eparchies for the Chaldeans, one in Michigan and one in southern California. Whether Orthodox or Catholic, these church in Iraq considers the Apostle Saint Thomas to be a founder of the Church. Since November 11, 1994, the Church of Rome and the Church of the East (the Orthodox group) signed the Common Christological Declaration meaning that the Churches held Chalcedonian faith in Christ's humanity and divinity.
The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch elected a new patriarch, His Eminence, Metropolitan Archbishop of Europe, John Yazigi, 57. He will be known as John X.
The special synod of 18 bishops gathered for the election following the death of Patriarch Ignatius IV who died on December 5; the synod met at the Balamand Patriarchal Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Patriarch John was born in 1955 to a Syrian father and Lebanese mother in family of six children. His brother Paul is the Metropolitan of Allepo and his sister is a nun.
Patriarch John X is an Athonite monk ordained a deacon in 1979, a priest in 1983 and a bishop in 1995. In 2008, he was elected to pastoral service in Europe. His education includes degrees in civil engineering, theology, liturgy and music. His skill as an administrator can be seen in his work as Dean of the School of Theology at Balamand twice. John is known to be an exceptional pastor with competencies in the sacred Liturgy and Music; he's a published author and popular speaker.
Blessings on Patriarch John!
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, 91, died today, Wednesday, at a Beirut hospital after suffering a stroke a day earlier.
Born in the village of Mhardey near Hama in Syria in 1921, Habib Hazim was the son of an Arab Greek Orthodox family and was attracted to ecclesial ministry early in life. After finishing school in Hama, Hazim moved to Beirut where he studied literature and started serving the Orthodox Church in Lebanon.
Hazim helped found the global Society of Orthodox Youth Organizations and he became a bishop in 1961 and in 1970 he was elected Orthodox Metropolitan of the Syrian city of Latakia, a coastal city. Hazim was elected Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East in 1979, succeeding Patriarch Elias IV. The Patriarch of Antioch is the third most important See after the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Alexandria.
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that we may be helped by the prayers of the Priest Saint John Damascene, so that the true faith, which he excelled in teaching, may always be our light and our strength.
Saint John of Damascus (c. 676-749) is a pretty amazing man, priest, and Father of the Church; noted as the last of the Greek Fathers. He's known as the "golden speaker" and while he was not an original or brilliant theologian, his gift is his ability to compile what the Church believed in his era. In many ways Avery Dulles was the same.
Much of his preaching and teaching was a defense of the faith in the face of severe opposition, particularly with the rise of Islam.
The Damascene is revered as a saint by the Churches of East and West.
From The Statement of Faith by Saint John Damascene
O Lord, you led me from my father's loins and formed me in my mother's womb. You brought me, a naked babe, into the light of day, for nature's laws always obey your commands.