The internal crisis within the Syriac Orthodox Church, after charges of "betrayal of faith" on behalf of six metropolitans against Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, could be addressed during an extraordinary session of the Holy Synod.
This is what emerged during a consultory meeting,
convened by Patriarch Mor Aphrem at the patriarchal residence of
Atchaneh, in Lebanon, in which 18 Metropolitans and Syrian Orthodox
Patriarchal Vicars took part.
This is what a statement issued on
Thursday, February 16 by the general secretariat of the Syriac Orthodox
Synod reports, noting that the Metropolitans and the patriarchal Vicars
emphasized that the excuse letter issued by the six Archbishops did not
reflect the gravity of the mistakes committed.
The special session of
the Holy Synod – says the statement - could be convened in the period of
the Great Lent to study and discuss the aforementioned issues from all
aspects, in order to "make the right decisions and take the suitable
measures according to the Constitution of the Church".
The six metropolitans, in conflict with the Patriarch, on February 8 had
released a statement in which they claimed that the Primate of the
Syriac Orthodox Church no longer deserved the title of "defensor fidei",
since in their opinion he had sown doubts and suspicions in the hearts
of believers, with statements and actions «contrary to the teachings of
Jesus Christ, according to his Holy Gospel».
The Patriarch is accused of "betrayal of faith" and also of raising the
Koran, in sign of respect, on the occasion of inter-religious meetings.
The charges of the six Metropolitan against the Patriarch provoked the
response of other 30 Metropolitans and Syriac Orthodox Patriarchal
Vicars, who represent the vast majority of the Synod.
In a statement,
issued on February 10, the thirty Bishops defined the allegations
regarding the Patriarch as «rebellion against the Church». In the
following days, through social media, priests and Syriac Orthodox
communities around the world espressed their solidarity to the
Then a letter of apology from the six Metropolitans was sent
to Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem, a gesture that - as reported by the
statement of the secretariat of the synod released on February 16 - was
judged insufficient to put an end to the crisis.