Saturday, March 8, 2014

Antioch Withdraws from Synaxis after Jerusalem Refuses Mediation

This is the official translation released by the Patriarchate, posted originally here. Please disregard my earlier translation. Arabic original here.

The delegation of the Antiochian Patriarchate has participated in the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches and its preparatory meetings held at the Headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople from March 6 to 9, 2014. The delegation, consisted of Their Eminences Metropolitan Saba (Esber) and Metropolitan Silouan (Moussi), and Father Porphyrios (Georgi),has worked with great joy and clear dedication to make this Synaxis succeed. His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X was absent from the Synaxisdue to health reasons.The Antiochian delegation raised the conflict between the Antiochian and the Jerusalemite Patriarchates.The delegation endeavored,under the direct guidance of His Beatitude Patriarch JOHN X, and in collaboration with His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, to find a solution for this conflict according to the agreement which was drafted at the meeting held in Athens– June 2013 – and attended by the representatives from the Churches of Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem.

WHEREAS, all the efforts made by HisAll-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Antiochian Delegation to find a solution with His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem were met with failure;

AND WHEREAS, the Church of Jerusalem still insists on creating an archdiocese and setting up an archbishop within the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Antioch; 

AND WHEREAS, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is refusing any solution for this conflict which does not present the current situation as a fait accompli, and not recognizing that the majority of the Orthodox Churches acknowledge the rightness of the Antiochian position;

AND WHEREAS, the Patriarchate of Antioch has exhausted all peaceful solutions, and withheld the decision of her Holy Synod to severecommunion with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, with the aim of opening the wayto make everything possible for the success of the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Churches, and with the hope that this conflict be resolved with the spirit of brotherhood and peace during this Synaxis;

AND WHEREAS, upon the Patriarch of Jerusalem's rejection of the mediation of His All-Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch to resolve the conflict according to the terms of the Holy Tradition and ecclesiastical Canon Law;

THEREFORE, the Patriarchate of Antioch resolved to:

1- Withdraw herdelegation from the Synaxis of the Primates of Churches, held in Constantinople between the 6th and the 9th of March, 2014, and suspend putting her signatureon its closing statement until a resolution for the crisis is reached;

2- Not participate in the closing Divine Liturgy service which will be held on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, as an expression that Orthodox unity cannot be realized under the violation of one Church the canonical boundaries of a Sister Church, and herrefusal to acknowledge the agreement which took place through the good and loving care of the Ecumenical Patriarch;

3- Raise the issue again in the meeting of the Antiochian Holy Synod meeting which will be held on 27th of March, 2014, in order to take the measures which the Synoddeem appropriate,taking into consideration the recent situation.

In conclusion, the Antiochian Patriarchate cannot but entreat the Primates of the Sister Orthodox Churches to work on resolving this conflict, as
soon as possible, according to the precepts of the Ecclesiastical Canon Law, in order to avoid any impediment toward Orthodox unity that this matter leads to.


Anonymous said...

The Church of Antioch is standing on its principles!

Anonymous said...

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity.

Dean said...

Nice to see the Patriarchate of Antioch refusing to be a lapdog for the Greeks any more. They have always occupied the keystone position in the Orthodox Oecumene...they just never realized it.

Time for serious changes.

Anonymous said...

A problem here is that after dealing directly to Jerusalem and then appealing to Pat. Bartholomew without success, Antioch had few other options. They are clearly headed toward breaking communion with Jerusalem. They are hoping, no doubt, that the threat of this step will induce Constantinople to pressure Jerusalem into backing down.