The Patriarchate of Antioch
Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim was very active in the ecumenical movement and promoted efforts to reestablish the unity of all those whose roots can be traced back to the ancient undivided Antioch Patriarchate. With this in mind he met on July 22, 1991, with the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch, Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. They signed a document that called for “complete and mutual respect between the two churches.” It also forbade the passing of faithful from one church to the other, envisaged joint meetings of the two Holy Synods when appropriate, and provided guidelines for intercommunion of the faithful and even Eucharistic concelebration by the clergy of the two churches.
The Patriarchate has participated in a special bilateral theological commission for dialogue with the Melkite Greek Catholic Church to explore ways of healing the schism of 1724. The Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch, Maximos V, addressed a meeting of the Antiochian Orthodox Holy Synod for the first time in October 1996. The Antiochian Patriarch has vigorously supported the international dialogue with the Catholic Church.
There has been extensive emigration of Antiochian Orthodox out of the Middle East since the late 19th century, and dioceses have been established in North America, Argentina, Brazil, and Australia. In North America the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese is under the supervision of Metropolitan Philip Saliba (358 Mountain Road, Englewood, New Jersey 07631). In 2012 the Archdiocese had over 250 parishes and missions throughout the United States and Canada. This jurisdiction includes a Western Rite Vicariate composed mostly of former Episcopalians (Anglicans) with about 10,000 members. In addition, a number of Evangelical Christians originating in the Campus Crusade for Christ were received into the Antiochian Archdiocese in 1987. They eventually formed 20 parishes, all of the Byzantine rite. Known at that time as the Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission, it was disbanded and its parishes integrated into the regular structure of the Archdiocese in 1995.
The Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand is headed by Archbishop Paul Saliba, (2 Bampton Avenue, Illawong, NSW 2234, Australia). It has 26 parishes and missions in Australia and eight in New Zealand, which is a separate deanery.
An Antiochian Orthodox deanery in the United Kingdom and Ireland was established in 1995 as part of the Archdiocese Western and Central Europe based in Paris. The Dean, Fr. Gregory Hallam (Clare Road, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 2GG), supervises 15 parishes and seven missions. The great majority of the deanery’s clergy are converts from the Church of England.
His Beatitude Patriarch Ignatius IV (Hazim), who had served as primate of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch since 1979, passed away at the age of 92 in a Beirut hospital on December 5, 2012. An extraordinary session of the Holy Synod of the Holy See of Antioch was held on December 17. It elected Metropolitan John (Yazigi) of Europe (based in Paris) as the new patriarch. Born in Syria, the new Antiochian primate pledged to work for harmonious relations between Muslims and other religious groups in that country. Metropolitan John had also been serving as Orthodox co-chairman of the Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group, sponsored by the Johann-Adam-Möller Ecumenical Institute in Paderborn, Germany.
Location: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, the Americas, Australia, Europe
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2013
Head: Patriarch John X (born 1955, elected 2012)
Title: Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East
Residence: Damascus, Syria