Zahlé, Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon, October 28, 2022
His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios (El Souri) of Zahle, Baalbek, and Dependencies, was appointed Patriarchal Vicar of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of New York and All North America earlier this week, following the resignation of the former primate, Metropolitan Joseph.
Met. Antonios will manage the affairs of the Archdiocese and oversee the process of nominating a new Metropolitan.
Yesterday, he addressed the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful of the Archdiocese for the first time in his capacity as Patriarchal Vicar:
Your Graces the Most Reverend Bishops,
Esteemed Members of the Board of Trustees,
And Beloved Faithful in Christ,
Of The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America:
“Christ is with us and amongst us”
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all”
I greet you in the name of our Lord, to Whom I give thanks for everything and especially for the mission that His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, bestowed on me by assigning me as patriarchal vicar of your God-protected Archdiocese.
I cannot but thank His Beatitude for his great confidence in this regard, and I hope, by God´s grace and your prayers, to accomplish my task for the welfare and benefit of this great Archdiocese.
I am eager to serve you hoping that we can all be united, prevailing mutual love and cooperation at the service of our Church.
Christ unites us in Him. He is our peace, serenity and joy. He is The One Who gives us the strength and wisdom to be always united, either in joys or in sorrows, while facing and overcoming all difficulties, challenges and temptations.
In this spirit, I invite all of you to work together, nourishing our hearts with our love to Christ, His Church and our brethren, bearing in mind our Antiochian heritage, given our witness in the name of all those who were first called “Christians”.
Let us put our hands together, along with our good intentions and faithful diligence in the service of Christ and His Church so that “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5: 26).
I thank you in advance for your love, hoping to be with you soon.
In Christ, I remain,
Your Servant in Christ,
Metropolitan of Zahle and Baalbek and Dependencies
Patriarchal Vicar of New York and of All North America
Met. Joseph, who resigned amidst moral claims against him after heading the Archdiocese for 8 years, issued a farewell address to the Archdiocese on Wednesday.