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 New Syrian Catholic Patriarch:
"toward unity with the Syrian Orthodox Church"

The Patriarch of the Syrian Catholic Church of Antioch (united with Rome since the 16th century), H. B. Ignatius Mūsa I Da’ūd, was elected in October 1998. He visited Rome at the end of last year. In a Mass celebrating his visit, Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, noted that this was the Patriarch’s first visit abroad since his election. Pope John Paul II noted, in his audience, that the Syrian Catholic Church’s ties with its sister Syrian Orthodox Church were particularly close. And he was “pleased to know that the ecumenical path continues and that there are concrete expectations of collaboration, starting in the area of liturgy. Responding, Patriarch Dā’ūd said, “I want to continue in the same line as my predecessors, turning all my efforts to the service of ecumenical action, doing everything possible to speed the way along the path toward unity with the Syrian Orthodox Church.” He noted that the Syrian Church (considered as a whole) is small in number, “but proud to be one of the oldest churches of Christ.” Patriarch Dā’ūd’s parish includes Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, and Lebanon. The church also has a diocese in North America based in Newark, New Jersey (United States) numbering some 11,000 faithful. Since the early 1920s its headquarters have been in Lebanon.

Source: CNS

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