Antiochian Synod to appoint Patriarchal Vicar for America next week

Balamand, Lebanon, October 6, 2022

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The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch will meet in Balamand, Lebanon, next week in part to discuss the issues facing the Archdiocese of North America following the resignation of Metropolitan Joseph last month.

His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch writes to His Grace Bishop John (Abdalah) of Worcester, the Temporary Operating Committee, which was established after the Metropolitan’s resignation, and the Archdiocesan Board of Trustees:

On this occasion, I bring your attention that as soon as the Synod concludes its meeting, we will send you an official letter about the Synodal decision related to the Archdiocese, and we will appoint a Patriarchal Vicar, in accordance with the provisions of the Antiochian Laws and Regulations. The Patriarchal Vicar will manage the affairs of the Archdiocese, in accordance with the pertinent regulations.

According to the Patriarch’s statement, the Vicar will also be responsible for the process of nominating a new Metropolitan.

“We embrace you and your families with our paternal love, offering our warm prayers for your protection. May the Lord God strengthen you in your blessed ministry in His Church,” the statement concludes.

Met. Joseph, who served as head of the Archdiocese of North America from 2014, submitted his letter of resignation on September 17 after a woman came forth with claims that she had been romantically involved with him for many years.

Rumors have followed Met. Joseph for many years, but he maintains his innocence. He informed the Archdiocese last month that his resignation was meant to bring peace to the clergy and faithful.

Met. Joseph is still commemorated in the Divine services throughout the Archdiocese, until further direction is received from Pat. John, while the pastoral, administrative, and financial affairs are being managed by the Temporary Operating Committee under the direction of Bp. John of Worcester.

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