Minister Kenney issues statement congratulating Antiochian Orthodox Canadians on their new Patriarch, John X of Antioch

“I wish to congratulate His Beatitude on being elected as the new Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch, and particularly all Canadians under his spiritual care. I had the honour of meeting his predecessor, Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, who passed away on December 5th, in Damascus in 2009.”

“John Yazigi was ordained deacon in 1979 and was priested in 1983. Having studied both liturgy and music, in 1981 he began teaching at St John of Damascus Institute of Theology, which later became a faculty of Lebanon’s University of Balamand, founded by Ignatius IV in 1988. Father Archimandrite John participated in the Joint Commission that produced the 1993 Balamand Statement, was consecrated bishop in 1995, and was abbot of Our Lady of Balamand Monastery from 2001-2005. In 2008 he was elected as the Metropolitan of Europe.

“Being active with youth, and an expert in liturgy and music, His Beatitude has shown an exemplary desire to lead youth into a cultural experience of beauty. As Patriarch Youhanna X, he now has a great opportunity to deepen ecumenical relations with other Churches and religious communities, and a great responsibility to be a standard-bearer for peace and religious freedom in the Levant.

“I am confident that Antiochian Orthodox Canadians will benefit from Patriarch Youhanna’s leadership, as well as the breadth of his ecclesiastical knowledge and experience.”

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