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Synod for Africa in Rome #333976
10/04/09 01:39 PM
10/04/09 01:39 PM
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Mateusz Offline OP
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I watched the Mass from Rome this morning to inaugerate the Synod for African. Amongst all the Latin Rite African Bishops, there were some in attendance of the Greek-Rite. I found that interesting, perhaps they were Melkites from Egypt? There's also Melkies in Sudan as well according to Giga Catholic website.

http://www.gcatholic.com/dioceses/data/rite-GM.htm

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Mateusz] #333977
10/04/09 01:42 PM
10/04/09 01:42 PM
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Mateusz Offline OP
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I find the African liturgical music very harmonious and beautiful for the Roman Rite. They used Latin and Congolese in the Mass.

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Mateusz] #333978
10/04/09 01:43 PM
10/04/09 01:43 PM
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Pani Rose Offline
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neat!

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Mateusz] #333979
10/04/09 02:03 PM
10/04/09 02:03 PM
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Perhaps you saw some Coptic Catholic bishops. I think they wear much the same vestments as Byzantine bishops.

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #333980
10/04/09 02:20 PM
10/04/09 02:20 PM
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Pani Rose Offline
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Of the liturgical music, a friend who was a missionary in Africa - this was over twenty years ago - shared some videos he had taken of the dance they did during the Mass with these huge ostrich plumes. It was beautiful.

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Pani Rose] #333996
10/04/09 10:23 PM
10/04/09 10:23 PM
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The following seven Eastern Catholic Bishops are participating in the 2nd Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, Oct. 4-25, 2009 (source):
  • Metropolitan Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew (Souraphiel) of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia (Ethiopian Catholic Church)
  • Bishop Kyrillos (William) of Assiut, Egypt (Coptic Catholic Church)
  • Bishop Ibrahim Isaac (Sidrak) of Minya, Egypt (Coptic Catholic Church)
  • Bishop Youssef (Aboul-Kheir) of Sohag, Egypt (Coptic Catholic Church)
  • Bishop François (Eid) of Cairo, Egypt (Maronite Church)
  • Bishop Youssef Ibrahim (Sarraf) of Cairo, Egypt (Chaldean Church)
  • Bishop Krikor-Okosdinos (Coussa) of Alexandria, Egypt (Armenian Catholic Church)

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334030
10/05/09 08:06 AM
10/05/09 08:06 AM
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Fr Serge Keleher Offline
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The list of participants is doubly shocking: not only is there no Greek-Catholic representative, but the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria is conspicuous by his absence. What sort of "Synod for Africa" is held in the absence of the Patriarch of Alexandria?

Fr. Serge

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334037
10/05/09 11:13 AM
10/05/09 11:13 AM
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Something which I hadn't noticed before is that there are also two Eastern Catholic Bishops elected by the Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea:
  • Bishop Abraham (Desta), Apostolic Vicar of Meki, Ethiopia
  • Bishop Tesfaselassie (Medhin) of Adigrat, Ethiopia
This brings the number of Eastern Catholic Bishops in the Synod up to nine.

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334038
10/05/09 11:40 AM
10/05/09 11:40 AM
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The way the Eastern Catholic Synod Fathers were chosen is as follows:
  • The Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Abeba attends ex officio as Metropolitan of an Eastern Catholic Church sui iuris
  • Three Synod Fathers were designated by the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria with the consensus of the Synod of Bishops of the Coptic Catholic Church
  • Three Synod Fathers were elected by the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs of Egypt
  • Two Synod Fathers were elected by the Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334039
10/05/09 11:56 AM
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This brings us to the concerns raised by Father Serge:

1. Why isn't the Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria one of the Synod Fathers?

According to Apostolica Sollicitudo (1965) and the Ordo Synodi Episcoporum (last revised 2006) the Coptic Catholic Patriarch does have the right to attend ex officio. However, His Beatitude also has the right to send a Bishop who is "competent in the material to be treated at the Synod" to attend in his stead. In this case, His Beatitude has sent not one but three Bishops!

2. Why isn't the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church represented?

The Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs of Egypt is represented by three Synod Fathers (Armenian, Chaldean and Maronite). I believe the Assembly consists of nine Coptic bishops as well as one Armenian, one Chaldean, one Latin, one Maronite, one Melkite and one Syrian bishop. Apparently, then, the Catholic hierarchs of Egypt, including the Melkite bishop, chose to be represented by their Armenian, Chaldean and Maronite confrères.

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334040
10/05/09 12:11 PM
10/05/09 12:11 PM
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Finally it is interesting to note that the "Fraternal Delegates" to the Synod include His Holiness Abouna PAULOS, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, and His Eminence MAKARIOS, Archbishop of Kenya and Irinoupolis (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa).

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334126
10/06/09 01:42 PM
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I've been digging for more information and found these remarks by Archbishop Nikola Eterović, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops (link):

Quote
In an audience granted me on 23 June 2007, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI approved the criteria for participation in this synod assembly, agreed upon by the Special Assembly for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops at a meeting held on 15 and 16 February 2007. After the Supreme Pontiff’s approval, these criteria were sent to the presidents of the episcopal conferences and the heads of the synods of the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris.

According to the decision of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, all African cardinals, regardless of age, together with the presidents of the 36 episcopal conferences and the heads of the two Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris (Coptic and Ethiopian) were to participate as ex officio members, namely, in virtue of their office. To ensure an adequate representation of the episcopate, 1 bishop-representative was to be elected for every 5 bishops and fraction thereof based on the total membership of a given episcopal conference. In the process, the intention was that each country of Africa have at least one bishop-representative.

Archbishop Eterović makes it clear that the Coptic Catholic Patriarch was meant to attend the Synod for Africa. This makes me wonder why His Beatitude is absent.

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334127
10/06/09 02:02 PM
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His Holiness Abuna Paulos addresses the Synod:



PS! In this video, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is referred to as "the most ancient Christian presence on the African continent," but of course that honour properly belongs to the Church of Alexandria.

Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334213
10/07/09 06:35 AM
10/07/09 06:35 AM
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Irish Melkite Offline
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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Something which I hadn't noticed before is that there are also two Eastern Catholic Bishops elected by the Bishops' Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea:
  • Bishop Abraham (Desta), Apostolic Vicar of Meki, Ethiopia
  • Bishop Tesfaselassie (Medhin) of Adigrat, Ethiopia
This brings the number of Eastern Catholic Bishops in the Synod up to nine.


LC,

While Abuna Tesfaselassie is of the Ethiopian Church sui iuris, Bishop Abraham is not, albeit he is likely in possession of biritual faculties, as are many (if not most) of the clergy in Ethiopia.

He was ordained to the priesthood for the Eparchy of Adrigat, an Ethiopian canonical jurisdiction but, on episcopal ordination, one presumes that he canonically transferred to the Latin Church, as all the Apostolic and Prefecture Vicariates in Ethiopia are of that Church. (The Eparchies, conversely, are all of the Ethiopian Church sui iuris)

Many years,

Neil


"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
Re: Synod for Africa in Rome [Re: Latin Catholic] #334216
10/07/09 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
2. Why isn't the Melkite Greek-Catholic Church represented?

The Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs of Egypt is represented by three Synod Fathers (Armenian, Chaldean and Maronite). I believe the Assembly consists of nine Coptic bishops as well as one Armenian, one Chaldean, one Latin, one Maronite, one Melkite and one Syrian bishop. Apparently, then, the Catholic hierarchs of Egypt, including the Melkite bishop, chose to be represented by their Armenian, Chaldean and Maronite confrères.


LC,

Although sometimes styled as if it were a stand-alone Archeparchy, the Melkite jurisdiction in Egypt is (depending on one's viewpoint) a Patriarchal See (a function of the Melkite Patriarch's styling as "of Alexandria"). Rome denotes it as a Patriarchal Dependency.

There hasn't been a Melkite Ordinary appointed to the See since the mid-19th century. Some, but not all of its Patriarchal Vicars have been bishops, designated as Auxiliary, as the Patriarch is the Archeparch ex officio. I don't believe that the present Vicar is a bishop.

There is a Syriac eparch. I might have surmised him as not chosen because of the small size of his flock (about 1,500 I believe) but the Armenian eparchy has only about 200 faithful according to the last AP data and the Chaldeans only 500 versus 5,500 Maronites and 6,500 Melkites.

Many years,

Neil

Addendum - before anyone wonders aloud why the Melkite Patriarch is not an ex officio attendee, I suspect that it relates to the issue of the title 'of Alexandria'. It was conferred on Maximos III Mazloom, of blessed memory as a title ad personam and, as memory serves, was formally granted to one successor as such (Clement, I think).

However, each other successive Melkite Patriarch has so styled himself. While I don't believe that Rome has formally raised the issue in about a century, I rather suspect that what we see here (and in the terminology 'Patriarchal Dependency' versus 'Patriarchal See') a subtle distinction being made between titles that Rome deems of right versus tradition.

Last edited by Irish Melkite; 10/07/09 07:27 AM. Reason: addendum

"One day all our ethnic traits ... will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we can not think of our communities as ethnic parishes, ... unless we wish to assure the death of our community."
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