Rabweh - From 21 to 23 February 2017, the Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church took place in Rabweh in the presence of almost all bishops. Also invited and present at this meeting were the Apostolic Nuncio of Syria, Cardinal Mario Zenari and the Apostolic Nuncio of Lebanon, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia.

The Synod thanked the Holy Father Francis for his attention to issues of the Melkite Church’s domestic issues.

During the working sessions, it was noted with regret and concern that serious difficulties had emerged recently over inter-episcopal relations on the one hand, and administrative problems on the other. Frank discussion among the participants allowed consideration of possible solutions.

Some bishops who had either failed to reply to two prior invitations to synod, or who had issued certain inappropriate press statements, admitted that they had acted improperly and wished to express their regret on that account. However, there was acknowledgment that occasional unintentional mistakes had been made in Melkite Church administration.

Finally, a spirit of brotherly reconciliation and renewed commitment to move forward together in communion for the restoration of ecclesial peace prevailed over past misunderstandings and enabled significant decisions to be made for the Melkite community’s welfare.

Election to membership of the permanent synod then took place, with one new member and his deputy being elected. The permanent synod, together with the patriarch, is tasked with taking requisite decisions for the smooth running of the Church.

The synod invites all the faithful to step forward afresh along the way of discipleship to the Lord Jesus and to walk together with their bishops, in order to give the Middle East, deeply troubled by war and violence as it is, a witness to charity and a sign of hope.

May the prayers of our most holy Mother, the Virgin Mary of Nazareth, accompany our Melkite Greek Catholic family and Church so that we may live “the Joy of Love,” which the Holy Spirit pours into the hearts of his loved ones.

On this occasion, at the threshold of Great and Holy Lent, we call upon every pastor and parishioner to offer works of repentance and charity, so that the world may see the light of our Church and glorify God the Father and that we may thus walk together towards the joys of Resurrection.

The Synod concluded with a liturgical service to which the Fathers and Mothers Superior of our monastic orders were invited.

23 February 2017


Teachings of Christ

'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:53-54 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live." (Proverbs 4:4 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this, the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them. But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and worshipper of the world.

St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven.