Condolence Letter on the Passing of His Beatitude Ignatius IV

Etchmiadzin, December 07, 2012: On 7 December, 2012, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, sent a letter of condolence addressed to the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, the clergy, and the pious faithful, on the passing of His Beatitude Ignatius IV, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East.

The Pontifical letter of Condolence stated in part: "His Beatitude courageously served the Church in Syria throughout his lifetime and exemplified strong Christian leadership especially during the crises currently facing the Middle East.

Through the efforts of Patriarch Ignatius, significant progress was made towards fostering and renewing the Orthodox youth ministry, new theological faculties were inaugurated and the ecumenical and inter-religious dialogues were promoted, which nurtured a renewal in the spiritual life of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

We honor the dignified and determined spirit with which he approached his role as a shepherd and guide for Middle Eastern Christians in all aspects of life.

We pray that God eternal receives the soul of the blessed Patriarch in His Heavenly Kingdom and ask the Almighty also to grant peace to the people of Syria during these difficult days of political instability and civil war."

Information Service of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin

Metropolitan Esper named interim patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch

Esper serves in southern Syria

BEIRUT,December 08, 2012: Metropolitan Saba Esper was elected Friday as temporary successor to the late Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim.

The appointment came during a meeting at Balamand monastery in Koura, North Lebanon. Esper currently serves as the metropolitan of three southern provinces of Syria: Hawran, Jabal al-Arab and the Golan.

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