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Letter of Patriarch Ignatius to General Assembly

Damascus, July 9, 2004




Beloved Brother Archbishop Philip (Saliba)


Metropolitan of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of

North America



We greet you in The Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.



On the occasion this special convention of your Archdiocese, we seize the opportunity to address, through you, esteemed and honorable brother, the faithful flock of this beloved Archdiocese, to emphasize on the following:



1         Based only on the ecclesiological grounds and from this single perspective we consider and deal with the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of

North America as one of the Archdioceses affiliated to the Patriarchate of Antioch.

        The Holy Scripture, the Sacred Tradition, the Holy Canons, the Constitution of the

Church of Antioch and its bylaws are the sole references of government to all our Archdioceses. Any dissidence to this context is considered as a violation to our constituency.

3        The Holy Synod of the

Church of Antioch is the ultimate authority from which all ecclesiastical privileges proceed. This Holy Synod holds alone the competence of making and implementing resolutions all over the see of  Antioch. Your membership, beloved brother, in the Holy Synod is the only guarantee of keeping tight the organic ties uniting all of us in the Church of Jesus Christ. Likewise the absolute compliance to the authority of the Holy Synod, guarantees the safekeeping of the bonds of unity in the Church as well the governance, of the church matters decently and in order. What affects the authority of the Holy Synod affects the essential nature of the relation that unites us in the Body of Jesus Christ by the community of the Holy Spirit. We are sure that you are eagerly devoted to keeping strong these bonds of unity. Be assured also of our attachment to the unity and the peace of the Church. We will spare no effort to maintain the purity and the integrity of the Lord's legacy, as well.

We herewith enclose a true copy of the Synodical Resolution of October 9, 2003, kindly requesting Your Eminence, its distribution among the participants of the special convention, when reading this letter to them, so that they get a clear understanding of our stand.



Finally, we assure you of our deep love and of our confidence that we are together seeking the same aims. Likewise, your assistants and the faithful people of this thriving archdiocese are entrusted of this same strive. God has been and will always be, glorified by your deeds, since we are altogether laboring for the wellbeing of Christ's Church.



We bless your actions towards this aim and heartily pray the Lord to grant Your Eminence always the required strength, to rightly dividing His Word of truth.


Pray for us. You are always remembered in ours.


Ignatius IV


Patriarch of

Antioch and All the East