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Call to Prayer for Metropolitan PHILIP and the Holy Synod of Antioch

Metropolitan Travels for Holy Synod Meeting


October 4, 2004

We ask all clergy and faithful of our Archdiocese to keep in their prayers—both at home and in the churches—our Father and Chief Shepherd, Metropolitan PHILIP, together with His Beatitude, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV, and all the Fathers of the Holy Synod of Antioch. We pray for Godspeed as our Archbishop and those accompanying him travel to Damascus this week to participate in the meetings of the Holy Synod that begin on Oct. 12, 2004.

Of great significance for our Archdiocese, the Holy Synod will take up ratification of revisions to our Archdiocese Constitution relating to our self-rule status that was previously agreed upon at the October, 2003, meeting of the Holy Synod.

Our new constitution was passed unanimously at a special Archdiocese convention on July 16, 2004, and is already in effect. With the Synod of Antioch’s action next week, we shall be awaiting a delegation of bishops from the Holy Synod to augment our local, North American synod of bishops for the election of three new bishops from the seven candidates nominated by our general assembly in July.

The Patriarchal Holy Synod is a council comprised of all the metropolitan bishops, who are, in turn, representing the synods of their local diocesan bishops. As Metropolitan of the Great City of Antioch (where “the Disciples were first called Christians,” Acts 11.26), His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV serves as President of the Holy Synod and is known as “Patriarch.” The Patriarchate of Antioch “and All the East,” in the global organizational structure of the Orthodox Church, encompasses much of the Middle East and beyond, plus dependencies in the New World (such as our own Archdiocese of North America).

The Synod will meet in Damascus, on Straight Street, where St. Ananias met and healed the would-be Apostle Paul (Acts 9.11). We pray that all-Holy Spirit will guide and strengthen our bishops to do what is right and pleasing to Him, just as He has guided and preserved His faithful through 2000 years, continuously, in this same place.