CWN - At a meeting in Lebanon last week, the Synod of the Melkite Catholic Church reached an accord ending a heated dispute that had led Patriarch Gregory III Laham to say that some bishops were in “open rebellion.”

Last June, a meeting of the Melkite Synod was postponed after a group of bishops boycotted the meeting, causing the absence of a quorum. The dissident prelates—led by Archbishop Cyrille Bustos of Beirut—had called for the resignation or removal of the Patriarch, saying that he had weakened the Church through mismanagement. Patriarch Gregory responded by saying that the boycott was “an act of open ecclesiastical rebellion against patriachal authority.”

The Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches intervened to mediate the dispute, and the apostolic nuncios in Syria and Lebanon both attended last week’s Synod meeting to encourage open dialogue. In a closing statement the Synod thanked the Holy See for its involvement.

The Synod issued a candid acknowledgement of the dispute, indicating that both sides had been at fault: "During the meeting, the bishops found regrettable and disturbing the insurmountable difficulties that have lately appeared. Nevertheless, dialogue between the participants has resulted in positive results. Some of the bishops who did not participate in previous synods or spread misleading statements in the media admitted that they behaved in an improper manner. They recognised they did wrong. The bishops noted some mismanagement, probably involuntary, in the administration of the Greek Catholic Church."

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Teachings of Christ

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:27-30 ESV)

Theophany

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * “You have come, and You have appeared , O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits. 

St. Isaac the Syrian