Very. Rev. P.J Jacob
Cor-Episcopo, to be ordained as auxiliary Metropolitan
for Honavar Mission
Ordination to be held Damascus Patriarchal Cathedral on
July 23, 2009: Very. Rev. P.J Jacob Cor-Episcopo, to be ordained as
auxiliary metropolitan for Honavar Mission on 23 August 2009 by His Holiness
Patriarch Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas at the Monastery of St. Aphrem the
Syrian, in Ma`rrat Sayyidnaya, Damascus, Syria. The Catholicos His Beatitude
Aboon Mor Baselious Thomas I, Mor Gregorios Joseph (Metropolitan of Kochi
Diocese & Malankara Episcopal Synod Secretary), and other metropolitans of
Syriac orthodox Church will assist His Holiness in the consecration ceremonies.
The General assembly of Honavar Mission elected P.J Jacob Cor-Episcopo as their
Metropolitan-designate on 06 December 2007.
Brief Biography of the Bishop Designate
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81ST BIRTHDAY OF CATHOLICOS H.B. BASELIOS THOMAS I
July 21, 2009: H.B. Aboon Mor
Baselius Thomas I, the
Catholicos & the regional head of the Syrian Church of India, is celebrating the 81st birthday today.
Born in a humble family in Puthencruz, near Cochin, our Bawa came to the present position,
overcoming many hardships, only due to the divine call and guidance. The
prayerful life of our Bawa is an example for many other leaders in Malankara.
On this happy occasion of the 81st birthday, let us all pray to God almighty to
give Bawa a healthy long life, to lead us into the new
Biography of Catholicos
Photos of 81st Birthday celebrations
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Germany after medical checkup -
Health results satisfactory
Damascus, Syria: His
Holiness the Patriarch Ignatius Zakka-I Iwas, who was on a week long visit to Germany for a detailed
medical check-up has returned to the
patriarchate in Damascus on July 7th.
comprehensive medical examination has been carried out and the results have been
found excellent which confirmed the stability of H.H.’s health.
Mattias Nayis, the
Metropolitan of Beirut,
Sister Hanina Hubayl,
President of Sister’s
monastery of Mor Jacob
and a few others accompanied the holy father during the trip.
H.E. Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim of
Aleppo who was in Germany leading the Bishop's committee meetings on German affairs
Hanna Aydin, the Patriarchal vicar to Germany were also with His
Holiness during the visit.
On his way back, the Patriarch met
Mor Filuksinos Yusuf Çetyn,
Istanbul & Ankara,
the parish priests, and
distinguished members of the Milli Mejlis at the Ataturk Airport in
The Holy father at the Istanbul
Airport on his
way back to the Patriarchate
Photos: Syrian Orthodox
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Celebration of the
Holy mass at the ancient Church of St. Thomas in Mosul, Iraq, on St. Thomas day
Iraq - July 3, 2009: Marking
the Apostle St. Thomas Day on 3rd July 2009,
Holy Mass was celebrated at the historical
St. Thomas, in Mosul, Iraq, by Metropolitan H.E. Mor Gregorios Saliba Shamoun of
the Archdiocese of Mosul. Hundreds of faithful participated in the Holy Mass and
other commemorative celebrations. A traditional procession by the faithful led
by the priests was also held on the occasion.
It was from this church of St. Thomas, the holy
relics of the Apostle was discovered by our present Patriarch 45 years back when
he was the Archbishop of the diocese. The history says that St. Thomas was
martyred while on his Apostolic mission to India on 21st December AD 72 and was
buried there. Persecutions in the subsequent years made the Christianity
that was spread through the Apostolic mission of St. Thomas,
to be confined to just the present southern Indian state of Kerala (Malankara) where large
number of St. Thomas Christians exists to date, and as a result the burial place of the
Apostle which was located miles apart from this Christian settlement area,
faded into obscurity. The arrival of more Syrian Christian missionaries from mid-4th
century and the subsequent revival of Christian practices, increased the
importance of the Apostle's burial place and the church fathers who visited the
place decided to transfer the relic to safer place. Thus
in AD 394, the sacred relics of St. Thomas was
transferred from India to Edessa by the church fathers and was established in
the Cathedral of St. Thomas there. It is this day of establishment of the St.
Thomas relic in the Cathedral of St. Thomas in Edessa which is celebrated
as Apostle St. Thomas day universally.
During the great Christian persecutions
of subsequent years the church in Edessa, like all other churches in Holy Land, was
ransacked by its enemies and this prompted the church fathers to
transfer the relic to safer places. A major portion of this Apostle's relic
(bone) was taken to Mosul and was hidden in the walls of the ancient Syrian
Orthodox church there which remained undiscovered for many centuries until it
was rediscovered by our Patriarch 5 decades ago.
Sixteen centuries after
transfer, a part of the Holy relic found its way back to India when
the late lamented Patriarch Ignatius Yakub III of blessed memory presented it to
the Indian Syriac Church in 1964. Later in 1994 our present Patriarch, who was
entrusted by our Lord, to rediscover the sacred relic of the great architect of
Indian Christianity, presented a portion of relic to the ancient & famous
Cathedral of St. Thomas in Mulanthuruthy, Kochi, India, where the feast of St.
Thomas is celebrated with great importance both on July 3rd and on the Apostle's
martyrdom day on December 21st.
day celebrations at the St. Thomas
Cathedral, Mosul, Iraq on July 3, 2009
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MOR DIONYSIUS JOSEPH PULIKOTTIL
(Mor Divanasios V, the Malankara
Metropolitan from 1876 -1909)
100th death anniversary of Mor Dionysius Joseph Pulikottil, the former Malankara
Metropolitan & regional head of the Syriacs in India, falls on July 11,
2009. The occasion will be marked with special prayers in remembrance of the
holy father, during the Sunday Mass on 12th July in all the Malankara Syrian
Mor Dionysius V Joseph Pulikottil is one of those illustrious fathers of the
Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church who is remembered with great reverence and
affection. For nearly four and half decades he led the Malankara Church; first
as assistant to the Apostolic delegate Mor Kurillos Yuyakim and later as the 'Malankara
Metropolitan', the chief of the Malankara Archdiocese. The Syrian Christian
community of India owes a lot to this spiritual father for his able and
H.E. Mor Divanasios (Dionysius) Pulikottil is widely acknowledged as the
architect of the modern Malankara Church.
Born in the 'Pulikottil'
family of Kunnamkulam, Mor Divanasios rose to the order of Metropolitan in AD
1865. The sufferings he faced as Metropolitan to retain the Syrian Orthodox
faith in Malankara was unprecedented. In those period, the British were the
dominant force in India and they supported the Anglican Church who tried to
introduce their protestant faith among the Syrian Christians. As a consequence
of this, many of the churches in Central Travancore (Southern Kerala) including
the lone Seminary of the Jacobite Syrian Christians at Kottayam, came under the
influence of the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S). However with the arrival of
Mor Ignatius Peter IV, the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, in AD 1875,
the situation changed for better. The discussions held by the Patriarch with the
British authorities at London on his way to India, helped a lot in changing
their attitude towards the Malankara Church. Since then the Government and
judiciary under British rule, started to function impartially. But the internal
administration of the Malankara Church remained a complicated affair. So the
Patriarch held series of discussions with the representatives of the Syrian
Christian community to find out a longstanding solution to the problems
pertaining the Malankara Church.
In June AD
1876, Patriarch Mor Ignatius Peter IV convened a Synod at the Mulunthuruthy Mar
Thoman Church, which gave birth to the popular and democratic 'Syrian Christian
Association Committee'; a body comprising of representatives from the Parishes
of Malankara. As per the
of this historic Synod, Malankara Edavaka (Syrian Archdiocese in India) was
divided into six new dioceses for administrative convenience,
Metropolitans were ordained for each (St.Gregorios
was one of those new Metropolitans ordained
by the Patriarch Mor Ignatius
Peter IV). Decision was also taken
to elevate the senior most
Metropolitan of Malankara Church 'H.E. Mor Divanasios Joseph Pulikottil', as the
first Metropolitan President
of the newly formed Association and as the chief of the local Synod, with the
designation MALANKARA METROPOLITAN. Since then His Excellency came to be called
'Mor DIVANASIOS V', being the fifth Metropolitan of the Indian Church
known in the same name. (The first of the Malankara bishops who adorned the
title 'Divanasios' was Marthoma VI in 1770. He died in 1808).
His Grace Mor
Divanasios V continued as the head of the Church in Malankara for 33 long years
and by then, he was able to re-establish the lost glory of the Malankara
Jacobite Syrian Church. It was at his insistence many of the spiritual
organizations like the students movement, Sunday school etc. were organized in a
systematic order for the first time in Malankara. He is also the founder of the
famous Seminary at Parumala. His administrative capability was considered to be
extraordinary. Pulikottil Mor Divanasios V is undoubtedly one of the greatest
Metropolitans of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church.
Sacred tomb of Mor Dionysius Joseph Pulikottil at
Syrian Seminary in Kottayam
Exclusive website by Malankara
Syriac Christian Resources on the life of Mor Dionysius
Joseph Pulikottil :
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dignitaries visit His Holiness at the
St. Aphrem Seminary,
Damascus: On Wednesday 24th June,
Chief of the Islamic
Courts of the Palestinian,
the H.E. Ambassador of Palestine,
and other dignitaries visited our Holy father His Holiness Igntaius Zakka I Iwas
at the Patriarchal residence in
St. Aphrem, Ma’arrat Saidnaya,
H.E. Mor Gregorios Yohanna Ibrahim, the Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan of Aleppo
archdiocese also accompanied the delegation.
On the occasion, the
Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi and the delegation accompanying him, presented some
souvenirs to His Holiness the Patriarch, and awarded the holy father with the
scarf symbolizing the Arab character of Palestine and the struggle of the
The delegation visited Damascus to attend the International Conference on the
"Jerusalem in the Ottoman Empire",
by the Ministry
of Culture in cooperation with the Research
Center for History,
Istanbul (IRCICA). Other than the Metropolitan of Aleppo, the Syriac Orthodox
Church was represented at the conference by
Mor Philoxinus Mattias Nayis, the
Patriarchal Assistant and
St. Aphrem Theological Seminary,
Source: News from the
Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
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MOR GABRIEL MONASTERY
LOSES FORESTRY CASE
Midyat, Turkey, Jun 24, 2009
– In an astonishing verdict, the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA), a recognized
NGO at the United Nations that represents the Aramean (Syriac) people worldwide,
reports that the court trial held today on Wednesday, June 24 2009, in Midyat,
Turkey, has resulted in a lose of the “Forestry Case” by the Saint (Mor) Gabriel
Monastery. However, in another puzzling decision, the Court also ruled today in
favour of the Monastery on the “Treasury” Case.
The Midyat Court decided as
The Monastery has lost its appeal against the
earlier decision of the Forestry Department which claimed ownership over some
34 Hectares of Land from the Monastery (“Forestry Case”). The Court decided
that the Forestry Department, on behalf of the Turkish State Government, owns
the land and now has completed is cretion over what it will do with the land;
The case involving the Head of the Religious
Foundation of the Monastery, Mr. Kuryakos Ergün,
as a defendant, for the “intentional violation of the Forestry law”, has been
postponed to 30 September, 2009; and
The Turkish State Treasury Department has lost
its case against the Monastery claiming the 12 Parcels of land inside and
outside the wall of the Monastery, amounting to some 24 Hectares of Land.
In the Forestry Case, the Judge proclaimed that the
State considers the land as a “forest” and therefore by definition it has become
“Forestry” land owned by the State. The result of the case has deeply troubled
the Monastery, with Kuryakos Ergün
stating: “These are scary times. We are not sure what to do now. The State
Government can now break down our protective wall and give a substantial amount
of our land to third parties to cultivate it. Who knows what is next for us. All
I know is that we now live with fear and an insecure future.”
Daniel Gabriel, SUA’s Human
Rights and NGO Director, expands o n this : “While we are pleased that we won
the Treasury case, we are equally concerned by how we lost the Forestry Case.
The court ruling shows us how the Turkish Government continues to mistreat its
minority groups. I understand that we will appeal this decision to the Court of
Appeal in Ankara. This is just a first step. Recent European Court of Human
Rights decisions have shown us that the EU will not tolerate such discriminatory
decisions by the Turkish State. On several occasions, the European Union, which
Turkey seeks to join, has called on the Government to return seized properties
to minorities and expand their religious and cultural freedoms. This is no
Johny Messo, President of
the SUA, expressed his concerns stating: “With the loss of this case, we
question the sincerity of the Turkish State when it claims it intends to secure
the future of the indigenous Aramean people in their traditional homeland. We
surely cannot and will not accept this remarkable verdict. By all peaceful
means, we will intensify the pressure on Ankara, where the final decisions are
taken. I call upon all politicians and media, and in particular the Turkish
people, to stand united behind the Mor Gabriel Monastery and act accordingly to
The SUA again requests all
media, human rights organizations and politicians to increase their public
outcry over the injustice which is faced by the Aramean (Syriac) people. The
victory of the Boundary and Treasury Cases, proves that international pres sure
can affect other cases.
The SUA will continue to keep you
updated in relation to all events related to these trials. If you require any
further information, please contact Mr. Daniel Gabriel (SUA’s Director of Human
Rights and NGO) on +44 7795 602 078 or on
For more information, especially on historical maters, you can also contact Mr.
Johny Messo (SUA’s President) on +31 611 539 771 or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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book titled "Quintessence of Religious Doctrines" (Mathopadesa Sarangal)
made available online
The English translation of the
book titled 'Mathopadesa Sarangal', written in Malayalam by late Vattasseril
Geevarghese Malapan (Mor Dionysius Geevarghese) in 1900, and translated
into English in 2006 by Prof. O M Mathew, is now made available online by its
publishers Mor Adai Study centre & SOCMNet.org. The title of this book
translated into English is "Quintessence of Religious Doctrines".
The book 'Mathopadesa Sarangal',
which illustrates a detail study of the basic articles of faith of the Church
covers many major themes related to the faith, doctrine, sacraments, canon of
the Bible, synods, schisms, etc.. The author prepared these themes in a
refined and condensed form so that the learners can memorize and have them
engraved in their mind. Biblical illustrations add to the authenticity of the
The book is compiled based on the
works of Mor Gregorios Bar Ebroyo and other scholars of the Church as
mentioned in the preface of the original text. The first edition of this
book was published in 1900 with the imprimatur of the late lamented Mor
Dionysius Joseph Pulikkottil II of blessed memory. The book was reprinted
several times after the death of its author and the latest unadulterated
edition was published in 1964.
Religious Doctrines' ( English translation)
The English translation made
available here is based on the unadulterated edition of the book written by
late lamented Mor Geevarghese Dionsyius Vattasseril. The translation into
English and the brief commentary added to each theme are the work of Prof. O.
M. Mathew Oruvattithara, retired Professor of Baselius College, Kottayam. He
is an erudite scholar and studious researcher. He got enrolled for the Masters
in Theology after his retirement from academic life. He successfully completed
the Masters at the `Mar Thoma Vidya Niketan,' affiliated with the Gregorian
University in Rome and is now teaching Orthodox theology, by writing books,
articles and teaching classes. His laudable contributions in the form of the
translation and commentary of this book will always be remembered. The
English speaking members of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Malankara will
remain deeply indebted to him.
The book can be accessed via link:
Hard copy of this book is available
at the following bookstalls in India.
1. MOR JULIUS BOOK STALL, Kottayam.
+91-481-2564499 / Mobile: 094473 64129
2. SYRIAN ORTHODOX SEMINARY BOOK STALL, Mulanthuruthy
3. ST. IGNATIUS DAYARA BOOK STALL, Manjinikkara
4. MOR ADAI STUDY CENTRE,
Mob. + 91 944 620 3002 / email:
5. M.M.D.M. BOOK STALL
PATRIARCH CENTRE, Puthencuriz
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of the consecration of St. Athanasious Paulose,
the former Malankara
Metropolitan & head of
the Jacobite Syrian
Christians of India
June 9, 2009: The
centenary celebrations of the Metropolitan-consecration of St. Athanasious Paulose,
the former Malankara Metropolitan & the head of the Malankara Jacobite Syrian
Church begins today.
As part of the year-long celebrations, the Church has arranged various
spiritual and cultural programs
to be held at different places in
the centenary year.
It was 99 years before on
9th June 1910,
St. Athanasious Paulose, popularly known as "Valiya
Thirumeni" was elevated as the high-priest
by the Supreme head of the Syrian Church, Patriarch
H.H. Mor Ignatius Abded `Aloho (Abdulla II) in a divine ceremony held at the Mor Sabor Mor Aphroth Jacobite Syrian Church at Akaparambu. Initially he was
given the responsibility of administering all the three northern dioceses
including Angamali which was the largest of all the dioceses. The pious &
saintly Mor Koorilose Paulose Kochuparambil was the Malankara Metropolitan at
that time. Following the demise of Mor Koorilose in 1917,
St. Athanasious Paulose was
unanimously choosen to the high post of Malankara Metropolitan by the
Malankara Jacobite Syrian Christian Association which was endorsed by the
Patriarch. Thus St. Athanasious
became the fourth
Primate of the church who adorned the title of 'Malankara Metropolitan' since inception of this title in the Mulanthuruthy Synod held in 1876.
The historical Malankara Association of 1935 held at Karingachira
St. George church once again unanimously chose His Eminence as the Malankara
It was Valiya Thirumeni who sowed the seed for the
overall development of the Angamali diocese in its present form.
Under his able and determined leadership, the seminary at
Thrikkunnathu became a major study centre for the upcoming clergy.
During his 34-year tenure as Malankara Metropolitan, the
Thrikkunnathu Seminary also functioned as the Jacobite Syrian Church
headquarters. In 1932 he rebuilt the nearby Thrikkunnathu St. Mary's
Church in its present form. Around that time he brought many
Syriac Christian families from various parts of Angamali diocese and
gave them land, free of cost, near to
the Thrikkunnathu Seminary and also helped them to construct houses
by distributing his personal savings which he raised through the
selling of his inherited family properties.
Athanasius Valiya Thirumeni is the founder father
of many of the spiritual organizations in the Church
like the Sunday School Association and the Marth Mariam Samajam.
The 'Mor Gregorios Syrian Students Association', named after his mentor St.
Gregorios Chathuruthil, happens to be
the first students organization in Malankara that adopted the name
of St. Gregorios of Parumala. The St. Antony's
brotherhood and St. Mary's sisterhood, were started under his guidance and
initiative. After serving the Church in Malankara for more than four decades, he
passed away on 25th January 1953 at the age of 84 and was entombed on the
very next day in
the room on northern side of the madbho of the St. Mary's
church at Thrikkunnathu,
Alwaye, confirming to his last
The sacred tombs of his predecessor as well his successor in the Angamali diocese, Their
Graces Mor Athanasious Paulose Kadavil and Mor Gregorios Geevarghese Vayaliparambil are also
situated by the side of Valiya Thirumeni's last resting place.
digital copy of the 'SUSTHATHIKON' linked here is the statement of
empowerment given in writing to ST ATHANASIOUS PAULOSE (Valiya Thirumeni),
after his ordination as a Metropolitan of the Angamali diocese of the
Jacobite Syrian Church by the Chief Primate of the Church, H.H.
Ignatius Abded'Aloho II, the Patriarch of Antioch &
All the East in 1910. The original document is about 10 ft (3
meters) long and 1.5 ft wide.
Known for his piety,
integrity, sincerity and unflinching faith, the spiritual father is
remembered by the Malankara Church with great veneration. Valiya Thirumeni
loved his people and defended them until his last, leaving behind him a
magnificent legacy. He
dedicated his entire life for the cause of the Church and the society.
revere him as
father; he is the pride of the
Malankara Jacobite Syrian Church. Fifty one
years after his demise, on 19th August 2004, the Church canonized Mor Athanasius Paulose.
The first church dedicated in the name of St. Athanasious Paulose is
situated in the premises of the Church headquarters at Puthencuriz.
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APOSTOLIC VISIT OF HIS HOLINESS TO
From 16 to 22 May 2009, His
Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas went on an
official visit to Greece, as the guests of the Greek Government and the Greek
Orthodox Church. His Holiness was accompanied in this visit by His Eminence
Mor Philexinos Mathias Nayis, Patriarchal Assistant, His Eminence Mor Daniel
Kourieh, Metropolitan of Beirut, and two monks: V. Rev. Fr. Mata Khouri, and Dr. Georges Khouri. The main
purpose of the visit was to congratulate the new archbishop of the Greek
Orthodox Church: His Beatitude Irenemos, and to renew the relationship between
both the churches.
His Holiness was received at the
Athens airport by Archimandrite His Eminence Gabriel, secretary of the
Archbishop and Professor Christos Voulgaris, a representative of the Greek
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Rev. Fr. John Gasali of the Syriac Orthodox
Church in Greece, all the monks and nuns who are pursuing higher theological
studies at the universities of Greece and the Syrian Orthodox faithful there.
His Holiness visited the Greek
Foreign Minister and then His Beatitude Irenimos, the Archbishop of Athens and
All Greece, where there was a friendly meeting between the two. On this occasion
His Holiness the Patriarch presented the Grand Cross of the order of St.
Ignatius Noorono to
the Archbishop, as well as decorated the Ambassador Christodoulos Lazaris with
the decoration of commander of the order of Mor Aphrem the Syrian.
On Sunday, His Holiness the
Patriarch presided over the
Holy Mass at the Armenian Orthodox Church, which was attended by His Eminence
Khorin Korean, the Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Greece, representatives of
His Eminence the Archbishop, priests, monks, nuns and representatives of the
diplomatic corps, led by Mrs. Huda al-Homsi, the Syrian Arab Republic Ambassador
in Greece, as well as the distinguished ambassadors of Egypt, Iraq, Palestine,
Poland. In the speech during the mass, His Holiness thanked God, for the
opportunity to visit Greece again, and also thanked the Greek government and the
Greek Orthodox Church for receiving His Holiness and the delegation as the
On Wednesday, His Holiness visited
Professor Huda al-Homsi the Syrian Arab Republic Ambassador in Greece, who
hosted a banquet in honour of His Holiness at the residence of the Ambassador.
On Thursday, His Holiness paid an
official visit to the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Church. The Archbishop
praised the good relationship
between the two
churches and called for more dialogues to further improve the relations. His
Holiness, in his speech thanked His Eminence Archbishop for inviting to Greece,
and also expressed his gratitude to the Greek Orthodox Church for the help and
support being extended for the students of the Syrian Orthodox church.
Holiness also reviewed the
relationship between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox and
especially during the last quarter of the last century and the considerable
efforts made by Prof. Christos Voulgaris to consolidate the relationship between
On Friday, His Holiness and the
delegation returned back to Syria.
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Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in America holds spring meeting
the Standing Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Churches
meeting, Paramus, N.J., May 18, 2009.
Conference of the Oriental Orthodox Churches in America
held at the Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Paramus, N.J., on May
18th. The meeting was led by Standing Conference chairperson Archbishop
Barsamian and hosted by Metropolitan Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, the head of the
Syriac Archdiocese of the Eastern United States.
was also attended by other clergy of the Eastern Diocese who are members of the
Standing Conference, including the Very. Rev. Fr. Daniel Findikyan, the Very
Rev. Fr. Vahan Hovhanessian, and the Rev. Fr. Tateos Abdalian.
Participants discussed programs for youth, the development of a brochure about
Oriental Orthodox Churches, and an effort to strengthen the presence of Eastern
and Oriental Orthodox churches in Washington through the creation of a special
addition, participants began to make plans for this year's Orthodox Prayer
Service, the annual gathering organized under the auspices of the Standing
Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas and the Standing
Conference of Oriental Orthodox Churches, to give Orthodox Christians an
opportunity to come together for worship and to learn more about each other's
culture and heritage.
Last year's prayer service was held at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral. The
gathering included worship and a program focusing on the United Nations
Millennium Development Goal to stamp out poverty and inequality.
Also under discussion was the upcoming Roman Catholic Church and Oriental
Orthodox Churches Dialogue, scheduled for September 30, 2009, and the
proceedings from the last international Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox
Dialogue held in Rome in January.
Before adjourning, participants prayed together and shared news from their
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ST. JACOB OF
NSIBIN CHURCH IN SWEDEN CONSECRATED
On May 17th 2009, the new Syriac
Orthodox Cathedral, St. Jacob of Nsibin in Sweden was consecrated and
People started to arrive as early as ten o’clock in the morning, two hours
before the ceremony would start. At 11.30 AM the church was full. Monks and
priests started to arrive. The Catholic and Protestant churches in Sweden were
also present. Also many people from the Swedish state and different
organizations were present to share the joy. Everyone was excited and had looked
forward to this day from the first moment they started building the church. Also
Suroyo TV was present to air the whole event live.
Before 12.00 AM all the deacons and
deaconesses gathered at the entrance of the church to welcome the bishops. Just
after 12.00 AM His Eminence Mor Julius Abdulahad Shabo cut the ribbon and white
doves were set free to fly into the church. His Eminence and all the other
bishops from our church, followed by the priests and the people that gathered
outside, all marched in to the church to start the ceremony. It brought great
joy to see all bishops walking down the church together.
It was very
overwhelming to see all the bishops together, surrounded by priests, monks and
deacons. His Eminence Mor Theophilos Georg Saliba from Lebanon, Mor Philoxenus
Mattias Nayis from the Patriarchate in Syria, Mor Dioscoros Benyamin Atas from
Sweden, Mor Dionosius Isa Gurbuz bishop from Switzerland and Austria, Mor
Philoxenus Saliba Özmen from Mardin, Mor Malatius Malke Lahdo from Australia and
Mor Severius Hazail Soumi from France and Belgium, all participated during this
There were also representatives from
our sister-churches: His Eminence Anba Abakir of the Coptic Orthodox Church and
His Eminence Macarie Drâgoi of the Rumanian Orthodox church. There were also
other representatives from other churches and organizations.
Thousands of people from all over Sweden came to be a part of this beautiful
After the sanctification ceremony, the first liturgy was held. After the liturgy
everyone went outside for a snack and the church bell rang for the first time. A
few guests were also invited to have dinner with the bishops.
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SYRIAC ORTHODOX MONASTERY
WINS BACK LAND
One of the world's oldest
functioning Christian monasteries has won a legal battle to have land it had
owned for centuries restored to it, after a Turkish court ruled on Friday it
could not be claimed by the state.
The dispute over the boundaries of
Mor Gabriel, a fifth-century Syriac Orthodox monastery in eastern Turkey, had
raised concerns over freedom of religion and human rights for non-Muslim
minorities in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country and European Union
In a statement, the Syriac Universal
Alliance (SUA), a leading Syriac group based in Sweden, said a Turkish court in
Midyat had reversed an initial decision by the land registry court to grant
villages some 110 hectares (272 acres) of monastery land.
But it added another three cases
relating to the monastery's former land remained open, two of which had been
The row began when Turkish
government land officials redrew the boundaries around Mor Gabriel and the
surrounding villages in 2008 to update a national land registry.
The Syriac Orthodox monks said the
new boundaries turned over to the villages large plots of monastery land and
some designated as public forest.
The case became a rallying cry for
Christian church groups across Europe, and had been postponed several times.
Syriacs are one of the oldest
communities in Turkey and still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. But
they are not officially designated a minority in Turkey like the Greeks or
Armenians, so have no special protection under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne's
provisions for non-Muslim minorities.
The ruling AK Party government has
said it has expanded the rights of minorities. But the EU and U.S. President
Barack Obama, during a trip to Turkey in April, have urged Ankara to do more to
promote religious freedom.
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100 years Calendar
2000 to 2100]
St. Koorilos Paulose
December 15, 1917