The Holy Synod was convened today, Thursday, October 5th, at the Patriarchate’s headquarters in Jerusalem. The assembly was presided over by His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos III, and was attended by esteemed members of the Holy Synod.
During the assembly, His Beatitude discussed several administrative and pastoral matters concerning the service of the Patriarchate, its monasteries, churches, clergy, and the faithful. He also informed the members about his invitation from the World Council of Churches, in coordination with the Palestinian Embassy in Geneva and the Presidential Committee for Church Affairs, to attend the opening of the exhibition “Bethlehem Reborn Palestine – The Wonders of the Nativity”. The exhibition aimed to highlight the significance of the Holy Nativity Church, both religiously and historically, as well as showcase the restoration efforts and promote Christian pilgrimages to these important religious sites in the Holy Land.
His Beatitude also shared his visit to the Vatican and his meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis and the initiative H.B. Launched to contribute to resolving the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, as well as his attendance at the appointment ceremony of the Latin Patriarch in Jerusalem, His Beatitude Pierrrebatista Pizzaballa as Cardinal.
The following decisions were made during the assembly:
- Acceptance of the resignation of His Eminence Archbishop Theodosios (Atallah Hanna) of Sebastia from his duties as the Patriarchal Vicar in the city of Acre and its jurisdiction.
- Appointment of Archimandrite Silwanos Hanouna as the Patriarchal Vicar in the city of Acre and its jurisdiction.
- Appointment of Archimandrite Meletios Basal as the head of the ecclesiastical court in Acre, with Archimandrite Artemios as his deputy, along with the additional members: Father Saba Hajj and Father Elias Khoury, and Father Saba Makhoul.
- Appointment of His Eminence Archbishop Philoumenos as head of the Monastery of the Apostles in Tiberias.
- Transfer of Archimandrite Philoumenos from Jericho and appointing him as head of the St. Spyridon Monastery in Jerusalem.
- Appointment of Archimandrite Parthenios as head of the Monastery of Prophet Elisha in Jericho.
- Appointment of Father Luke Bousha in the town of Zababdeh.
- Appointment of Father Antonios Ajeeneh as a priest in the town of Al-Jdeida in Acre.
- Appointment of Father Elias Awad as a priest in the village of Al-Baqi’a in Acre.
- Appointment of Father Spyridon Shuqha as a priest in the town of Kafr Smei’ in Acre.
- Approval of His Eminence Archbishop Christophoros of Jordan’s request of the ordination of Hilmi Ibrahim Jirjes as a deacon in Jordan.
Furthermore, the Holy Synod members received an explanation from His Eminence Archbishop Christophoros regarding recent developments concerning the Christian Family Law for the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. This modification, carried out by a committee formed by His Beatitude the Patriarch, with the support of specialist committees, aims to update and adapt the texts to the contemporary era with spiritual and national responsibility for the benefit of the congregation. The modification was ratified by the Holy Synod Assembly and will take effect on January 1, 2024.
In conclusion, His Beatitude and the members of the Synod raised their prayers for the peace and preservation of the Church, seeking protection from all divisions. They prayed to the compassionate God to send His Holy Spirit and His peace upon the world, safeguarding the children of the Church from all distress and tribulation, through the intercessions of the Holy Virgin Mary and the power of the Holy Sepulchre, the Source of Life, and all the saints.
Source: Jerusalem Patriarchate