Balamand, Lebanon, October 8, 2021
On April 22, 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Boulos (Paul) of Aleppo and Alexandretta and Gregorios Youhanna Ibrahim, Syriac Metropolitan of Aleppo, were kidnapped by Muslim rebels in the vicinity of Aleppo.
Though the Patriarchate receives regular reports about the supposed whereabouts of the hierarchs, their fate remains unknown and the Church continues to pray for their safe return.
Yesterday, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch decided to finally elect a new ruling hierarch for the Diocese of Aleppo, reports the Antiochian Patriarchate.
The Synod’s communique reads:
Given that nearly nine years have passed since the kidnapping of Metropolitan Paul Yazigi without knowing anything about his fate, the Holy Antiochian Synod that is held in Balamand, took a decision to transfer Metropolitan Paul Yazigi to be the bishop of the honorary diocese of Diyarbakir. Bishop Ephraim Maalouli, the Patriarchal Vicar and Secretary of the Holy Antiochian Synod, was elected as Metropolitan over the Archdiocese of Aleppo, Alexandretta and their dependencies.
Bp. Ephraim previously served as Patriarchal Vicar over the See of Seleucia.