Resolution Objecting to the Uncanonical Interference of the Patriarchate Of Jerusalem in the Canonical Jurisdiction Of Antioch


WHEREAS, the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of this God-protected Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America have met as the General Assembly at the 51st Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocesan Convention at Houston, Texas;

AND WHEREAS, on May 4, 2013, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, without consultation, without notice and without any approval of any kind, unilaterally usurped the historical, canonical and legitimate jurisdiction of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, when his Beatitude THEOPHILOS, III, Patriarch of Jerusalem and of All Palestine, consecrated the Archimandrite, Father Makarios, to the rank of Archbishop to serve the Holy Church in Qatar;

AND WHEREAS, the Holy See of Antioch, since the early Christian Period, has always had a long-standing presence in the region of Arabia, including Qatar and all Arabia and what is now known as the Gulf of Arabia;

AND WHEREAS, according to the Eighth Session of the Holy Ecumenical Synod held in Chalcedon in the year A.D. 451, the proper jurisdiction of the Holy See of Antioch was established and it was declared that "the See of the Great City of Antioch, that of St. Peter, should have the two Phoenicias and Arabia, while the See of Jerusalem should have the three Palestines" and that this decision was in fact bi-laterally agreed to by both Patriarchs, Juvenal of Jerusalem and Maximos of Antioch, and it was further declared that this jurisdictional settlement was to remain in place "for all time to come";

AND WHEREAS, in continuation of the long-standing Antiochian presence in Mesopotamia and Arabia, in 1969, the Holy Synod of Antioch, elected and installed Archbishop CONSTANTINE (Papastephanou) as Metropolitan of Baghdad, Kuwait and its Dependencies, who has since been exerting all efforts to organize and minister his archdiocese and since his installation as Metropolitan has established 11 parishes throughout his jurisdiction;

AND WHEREAS, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch has always possessed canonical jurisdiction over the Arabian Peninsula and "All the East";

AND WHEREAS, the recent actions of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, in consecrating an archbishop in Qatar is in direct violation of the historical and canonical decisions, as mentioned above, of the Fourth Ecumenical Council held in Chalcedon in the year A.D. 451, which established the legitimate jurisdiction of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch;

AND WHEREAS, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem has committed additional acts infringing upon the jurisdiction of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America here in the United States; namely, pastoral interference leading to the division of certain parishes in California without any canonical rights to do so, acting beyond the scope of its jurisdiction;

AND WHEREAS, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem has committed certain similar acts of pastoral interference infringing upon the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Chile;

AND WHEREAS, pursuant to a meeting of the Holy Synod of Antioch, held March 13, 2013, it was declared "The decision of the Jerusalem Patriarchate to establish an Archbishopric on a territory which belongs to the Holy Synod of Antioch is, without question, an illegal interference from the Jerusalem Patriarchate";

AND WHEREAS, the recent actions of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem has caused deep wounds in the brotherly relations between the Great Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem, and if such recent actions are not immediately rectified "will make it inevitable for the Church of Antioch to take certain actions which She is trying to avoid on account of the love that ought to govern the relationship among Orthodox Churches";

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the General Assembly of this 51st Archdiocesan Convention, duly assembled at Houston Texas from July 21-28, 2013, calls for the following actions: the immediate removal of Archimandrite Makarios from the country of Qatar; that the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem respect and abide by the Holy Canons of the Holy Orthodox, Catholic and Apostolic Church; that the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem cease any further infringement against the rightful prerogatives of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and all of its Archdioceses; and that the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem cease interfering in the affairs of all Autocephalous Sister Churches; We appeal to the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is the spiritual father of World Orthodoxy, to return all parishes to their original jurisdictions, including those that rightfully belong to the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America and the Antiochian Archdiocese of Chile and to take all measures to re-establish normal relations between the Great Churches of Antioch and Jerusalem. Lastly, we appeal to all of our sister Autochepalous Orthodox Churches and their respective leaders to engage in this urgent issue toward a resolution which respects the canonical decision of the Eighth Session of the Holy Ecumenical Synod held in Chalcedon in the year A.D. 451 and to restore the status quo which had been in place for 15 centuries.