BEIRUT (CNS) — The Melkite Catholic Synod of Bishops was canceled after some bishops boycotted, resulting in a lack of quorum.
The needed quorum of bishops is 12 and only 10 were present at the June 20 opening of the synod in Ain Traz, summer seat of the patriarchate. Those who did not attend called for the resignation of Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham, who has held his post since 2000. They are protesting the duration of his time as patriarch and some landholdings of the Melkite church.
In a statement issued June 21 after the synod concluded prematurely, the patriarch cited the bishops’ absence as a “case of open rebellion,” which he said contradicts the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.
He maintained that “the patriarchal seat is considered vacant only (upon) the patriarch’s death or renunciation of his office.”
“I shall not resign, and I will not give in to illegal and deceptive pressures. I will remain at the service of my church,” the 83-year-old patriarch stated.
He called for the synod to resume, possibly in October.
In his statement to open the assembly, Patriarch Laham, who was born in Syria, reiterated calls for “all parties to the Syrian dialogue, reconciliation and convergence to develop a quick plan to rescue the country from the devastating tragedy.” He said terrorists of different nationalities were entering Syria “in large numbers.”
He also said “if the light of Christianity” is extinguished from the Middle East, “it will also be extinguished from the world.” He criticized European leaders “for proclaiming human rights” yet “standing silent today and divided before the crises in the Middle East.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: Benedict shows core of priesthood is being ‘immersed in God,’ pope says
NEXT: World Day of Migrants to reflect on vulnerable, voiceless minors
Share this story