Statement Issued by the General Secretariat
of the Holy Synod
Patriarchal Residence – Atchaneh, Lebanon
February 16, 2017
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church, invited their Eminences the Archbishops, members of the Holy Synod, who can attend the consultory meeting to discuss the statements issued by six Archbishops, as well as their consequent actions, the breach of the constitution committed and the resulting tarnishing of the Church’s image and stumbling many faithful.
His Holiness opened the meeting with prayer asking for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Following a comprehensive study of the aforementioned matters, the Fathers confirmed the content of the statement that was issued on February 10, 2017. They emphasized that the excuse letter issued by the six Archbishops did not reflect the gravity of the mistakes committed as well as the consequent actions which does not reflect true repentence nor does it constitute a clear and explicit apology for all the offences they committed. The Fathers hoped that the six bishops will be inspired by God to correct their stand and please Him for the good of the Church and the reassurance of the faithful.
The Fathers suggested that His Holiness should convene an extraordinary session of the Holy Synod in the period of the Great Lent to study and discuss the aforementioned issues from all aspects, in order to make the right decisions and take the suitable measures according to the Constitution of the Church.
The Fathers appreciated the stands of the members of the Church, clergy and laity, in support of the Church and its hierarchy. They called the faithful to continue praying for peace in the church and for its unity. The Fathers expressed their thanks to the sisters churches for their solidarity with the Syriac Orthodox Church in these difficults times.
The meeting was attended by their Eminences: Mor Gregorios Saliba Chamoun, Patriarchal Advisor, Mor Severius Hawa, Metropolitan of Baghdad and Basra, Mor Theophilos George Saliba, Metropolitan of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli, Mor Timotheos Samuel Aktas, Metropolitan of Tur Abdin and Abbot of Mor Gabriel Monastery, Mor Philoxenus Yusuf Cetin, Patriarchal Vicar in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, Mor Dionysius Issa Gurbuz, Patriarchal Vicar in Switzerland and Austria, Mor Selwanos Petros Al-Nemeh, Metropolitan of Homs and Hama , Mor Justinos Paulos Safar, Patriarchal Vicar in Zahla and Bekaa, Mor Timotheos Moussa Al-Shamani, Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Mor Mattai Monastery, Mor Gregorius Malke Urek, Patriarchal Vicar in Adiyaman and its Environs, Mor Philoxenus Mattias Nayis, Patriarchal Vicar in Germany, Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, Metropolitan of Beirut, Mor Polycarpus Augin Aydin, Patriarchal Vicar in Holland, Mor Chrysostomos Mikhael Chamoun, Patriarchal Vicar and Director of the Patriarchal Benevolent Institutions in Atchaneh, Mor Nicodemus Daoud Sharaf, Metropolitan of Mosul, Kurdistan and their Environs, Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khouri, Patriarchal Vicar for the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, His Eminence Mor Georges Kourieh, Patriarchal Vicar of Belgium, France and Luxemburg, and His Grace Bishop Mor Maurice Amsih, Patriarchal Delegate for the Archdiocese of Jazirah and Euphrates.