Beirut (Agenzia Fides) - The Synod of Bishops of the Greek Melkite Church has begun today, Monday, June 19, to elect the new Patriarch. At the beginning of May Pope Francis announced that he had accepted the resignation of Gregory III Laham (in the photo) from pastoral office.
The synodal assembly takes place in Ain Traz, southwest of Beirut, and sees the participation of 29 of the 33 eligible voters for the patriarchal election. The first day's meetings will be marked by the spiritual reflections held by Joseph Kallas, emeritus Greek-Melkite Archbishop of Beirut and Jbeil. Tomorrow, June 20, the electoral process will take place to elect the new Patriarch. In order to be elected, the new Patriarch will have to get two-thirds of the vote. Once the electoral process has ended, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the Apostolic Nuncio in Lebanon will join the synodal assembly of the Melkite Bishops. The proclamation of the election will take place after the new Patriarch has received the "Ecclesiastical Communio" by Pope Francis. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 19/6/2017)