ASIA/LEBANON - Bishops divided, Synod of the Melkite Greek Church postponed

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 oriental churches  


Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The Synod of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, after being opened on Monday 20 June in Ain Traz in a climate of internal tension, was interrupted and postponed until further notice due to the non participation of a number of Bishops. This was reported in a statement issued by the official sources of the Patriarchate, sent to Agenzia Fides.
The story highlights the divisions within the Melkite Greek episcopate,regarding the demand for the resignation of Patriarch Gregoire III, supported by a group of at least ten Bishops, and then proceed to the election of a new Patriarch. On Monday 20, of the 22 currently Melkite Greek Bishops in office, only 11 were present at the opening session of the Synod, under the required quorum of half plus one.
Patriarch Grégoire, in his inaugural speech, among other things had invited all the Bishops to a "respectful, frank and transparent debate, in a spirit of dialogue and of charity". In his speech, following the postponement of the Synod, Patriarch Gregorie, recalling provisions recently re-proposed also by the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches, stressed that Eastern canon law does not contemplate the possibility of imposing the Patriarch to resign against his will, and that all disputes must be addressed within the synodal Assembly. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 22/06/2016)