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
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,
before returning to study. In 2003, he received his masters degree in New
Testament Studies, also from the College