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New Bishop for the Syrian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand


SOLNews - On the 7 September 2003, His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East consecrated Raban Malke Lahdo Malke as bishop for the Syrian Orthodox diocese of Australia and New Zealand. The ceremony took place in the Patriarchal Cathedral Mor Petrus and Mor Paulus in Saydnaya/Damascus. The Holy father, the Patriarch of Antioch, bestowed to him the Episcopal name “Mor Malatius”. Mor Malatius Malke Lahdo Malke is the first Bishop consecrated specifically and solely for the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. He currently resides at Mor Ephraim Cathedral in Sydney.

Between 1991-1996 Mor Timotheos Afram Aboodi served the Australian Syrian Orthodox community. He was the earlier bishop of Sweden and following Australia, he currently serves the Canadian Syrian Orthodox community. The Syrian Orthodox Diocese of Australia has the status of “Patriarchal Vicariate”, which was established in the year 1990 after the dramatic increase in the number of Syrian Orthodox community members migrating to Australia from Mesopotamia and different parts of the world. The Syrian Orthodox Diaspora initially emigrated to Australia in the early 1960s and settled in Sydney and Melbourne. However, the majority of them arrived in the late 1970s and 1980s. Although estimates vary, there are currently approximately 6000 Syrian Orthodox members, who are served by 7 Priests in 7 parishes.

Mor Malatius Malke Lahdo Malke was born on 3 January 1971 in Kershamo (Gerke Shamo) in north eastern Syria. His Eminence studied at the elementary school of Kershamo up to year 2 and then transferred to the Syrian Orthodox Church elementary school in Qamishli. In 1984, the third year of high school (9th year), he joined the seminary of Mor Ephraim in Damascus. In 1989, he graduated from the seminary and was awarded a diploma of Theology. Later that year, on Christmas Eve, His Eminence was ordained a monk by His Holiness Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.

From 1990 to 1991, He was the personal secretary to His Eminence Mor Ostatheos Matta Rohom, Archbishop of Jazirah and Euphrates. In September 1991, he was sent to India where he joined the Malankara Syrian Orthodox Theological Seminary (M.S.O.T Seminary) to teach the Syriac language. He received another diploma of Theology in 1994 whilst at the Seminary. After his return to Syria he served from 1994 to 1996 in the Patriarchal Secretariat in Damascus. In 1996, His Eminence was sent to Greece for further education, earning a Bachelor of Theology from the College of Athens in 2001. From March to September 2001, he served with Khuroyo Gabriel Bar Qasho in the Cathedral of Mor Jacob of Nsibin, Södertälje, Sweden, before returning to study. In 2003, he received his masters degree in New Testament Studies, also from the College of Athens

Gabriel Rabo


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updated: 13.01.2004
Last updated: 14.02.2004