Tag Archives: Patriarch Gregory III

Patriarchs Gregory and John meet

Orthodox and Catholic Patriarchs 2014The annual Synod of Bishops of the Melkite Church just finished meeting. The Melkite bishops from around the world meet together each year for some time in prayer, discussions on theology, liturgy, canonical process and the election of bishops. This year the Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, John X, met with Melkite Patriarch Gregory III –a historic meeting.

The Melkites in the USA are governed by Bishop Nicholas J. Samra (of the Eparchy of Newton) and the Antiochian Orthodox Church is awaiting a new head of church since their Metropolitan Philip Saliba died not long ago. The new metropolitan is expected to be announced late next week.

Melkite Synod 2014 meeting with Patriarch JohnSaint Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us.

Melkite Patriarch lists church damage

damaged church Im Al-Zinar in Bustan al Diwan, HomsAccording to the Melkite Patriarch Gregory the Great 88 Christian churches have been destroyed or damaged in some way as a result of the civil war in Syria. The majority of the damage is within the Melkite community, but numbers do not matter as this civil war affects all Christians. War is a failure for entire world.

Words of empathy are fine but deeds of love really matter.

This is not merely a local problem but a matter of concern with the rise of radical Islamic groups working to re-establish the ancient caliphate.

As of December 21 this the breakdown:

  • Armenian Catholic 3
  • Armenian Orthodox 9
  • Evangelical 1
  • Greek Orthodox 16
  • Melkite 37
  • Maronite 2
  • Latin 10
  • Syriac Catholic 3
  • Syriac Orthodox 7

We pray that the newborn Prince of Peace makes his Presence felt.

Melkite Patriarch wants to work for peace, denounces recent terrorist explosions

The violence in Syria doesn’t seem to end, the dignity persons disrespected. Recent terrorist explosions in Damascus’ Mazraa district left 53 dead and 235 injuredand caused extensive damage, particularly to a school and a hospital. 

Melkite Patriarch Gregory III issued a statement on February 21st. I recommend to your prayers His Beatitude’s intentions and leadership, and to work for peace in your own particular context.

He calls for an end of providing weapons to the warring factions.

Read the full Statement of Patriarch Gregory 21 February 2013.pdf

In short he said,

  • We extend our appeal to Russia and the United States of America to continue their sincere efforts to support progress towards dialogue and a comprehensive political solution. The patience of Syrians is exhausted: their suffering is exacerbated in every detail of their daily life.
  • We ask His Holiness the Pope and leaders of the Holy Apostolic See of Rome to launch a diplomatic initiative of the Catholic Church based on its global spiritual influence.
  • We turn once more especially to our faithful of the Patriarchal Eparchy of Damascus, inviting them to fast and pray during this period of Great Lent for security and peace in Syria and for the success of efforts for dialogue and reconciliation.

Melkite Patriarch calls for unified talk & acting to build better future

A friend sent me this letter of His Beatitude, Patriarch Gregory III addressing the killing and violence inflicted on the Syrian Christian community on October 31 (there’s discrepancy in the letter). His Beatitude is known for straight-talking and this letter indicates that sensibility. Let’s pray for peace in all of our hearts and minds as we pray for our enemies.

Patriarch Gregory III .JPG

Rabweh, 8 November 2010

Christian bloodbath in the Cathedral
of Our Lady of Deliverance, Baghdad

The carnage which took place on Sunday,
November 1, 2010 in the Syrian Catholic Cathedral of our Lady of Deliverance in
Baghdad was of an unprecedented cruelty and barbarity. It was an attack capable
of undermining the good will of genuine bridge-builders between cultures, brave
heroes of inter-religious dialogue, as well as the optimism of the Special
Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East.

I offer my sincere
condolences and the assurance of my prayers and those of our Church to His Beatitude
Patriarch Ignace-Joseph III (Younan), to His Eminence Cardinal Emmanuel III
(Delly) and to all those who are broken-hearted at this crime.

We know that
this criminal act is not the work of authentic Islam, and cannot be based on
it. Despite that, we hold Muslims in Iraq and in all Arab countries to be
responsible for Christian security, since they have power, and control the army
and police force.

We urge Arab countries to study the reality of fundamentalist
terrorism and the trends that feed on it. This is a global Islamic
responsibility, because showing Islam under that guise is a disfigurement of
authentic Islam. The real enemies of Islam and Muslims are neither
“Islamophobia” nor “Christian Europe,” but rather these fundamentalist organisations
and trends.

They are also the enemies of Christianity and of every Christian
and Muslim social and human value, whether Arab or not.

Christians are
peaceable, patriotic, loyal, faithful to their homeland and countries, tolerant
and naturally inclined to forgiveness. But they are not passive, cowardly,
timid, any more than they are inclined to be humiliated. They are not sheep,
designed to be slaughtered by fundamentalists. Christians are builders of
values, nations and cultures, including Islamic culture itself.

If Muslims do
nothing to safeguard this creative strain represented by Arab Christians in
Iraq and throughout the Middle East, the prosperity and drive of Islamic
culture will be in danger of collapse, and Muslims will then be their own worst
enemies, enemies of their faith and of their countries.

Dear Muslim and
Christian Arab brothers, let us adopt a unifying way of talking and act
together to build a better future for all our children and compatriots!


Patriarch of Antioch and All the East of Alexandria and of Jerusalem

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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