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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center

The See of Antioch is in "Ecclesiastical Communion" with the Holy See of Rome

The See of Antioch (The Melkite Greek Catholic Church) is in "Ecclesiastical Communion" with the Holy See of Rome (The Roman Catholic Church).

The words "Ecclesiastical Communion" means:

The "equals" are the Patriarchs.

Result of "Ecclesiastical Communion"

As a result of "Ecclesiastical Communion", all Melkites can recieve Holy Communion in all non-Melkite Catholic Churches. Also, all non-Melkite Catholics can receive Holy Communion in all Melkite Churches.

Cannon Law regarding "Ecclesiastical Communion"

The Cannon Law regarding "Ecclesiastical Communion" is in "Codes Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalum" (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches). The relevant passages are Canon 76, Section 2 (requesting communion) and Canon 77 Section 2 (what a patriarch cannot do before receiving the Ecclesiastical Communion, i.e. convoke a synod or ordain bishops.)

Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Consitituion on the Church

The Vatican II document most relevant is Lumen Gentium. Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Consitituion on the Church deals "Ecclesiastical Communion". This document was Solemnly Promulgated by Holiness Paulus VI (Paul VI) on November 21, 1964.

How "Ecclesiastical Communion" is obtained

Ecclesiastical Communion is obtained by the exchange of letters. Letters are exchanged between the Patriarch / Batriyark of Antioch and the Pope.
Each new Patriarch sends a letter announcing his election as the Patriarch / Batriyark of Antioch to the Pope.
The Pope responds in a letter affirming communion between the Melkite Greek Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches.

Letters were exchanged between His Beatitude, Gregorios III, Patriarch / Batriyark of the cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem, of Cilicia, Syria, Iberia, Arabia Mesopotamia, Pentapolis, Ethiopia, of all of Egypt and the entire East, Father of Fathers, Pastor of Pastors, Bishop of Bishops, the Thirteenth of The Holy Apostles and His Holiness Ioannes Paulus II (John Paul II), Pope.

His Holiness Ioannes Paulus II (John Paul II) Sent a Ecclesiastical Communion Letter to the New Patriarch / Batriyark, His Beatitude, Gregorios III, Patriarch / Batriyark of the cities of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem, of Cilicia, Syria, Iberia, Arabia Mesopotamia, Pentapolis, Ethiopia, of all of Egypt and the entire East, Father of Fathers, Pastor of Pastors, Bishop of Bishops, the Thirteenth of The Holy Apostles

The text below is from the Holy See's Web Site.

The Ecclesiastical Communion Letter in 4 languages

News Release

Catholic World News Feature [NOV. 29, 2000]

Number: 14438 Date: 11-Dec-00 Type: U Code:

Pope Recognizes New Melkite Patriarch

VATICAN, Dec. 11, 00 (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II has confirmed the election of Patriarch Gregory III as leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, and extended "full ecclesiastical communion" in a letter dated December 9.

The new Melkite Patriarch, Loutfi Laham, takes the place of Patriarch Maximos V, who resigned at the age of 92 after a series of health problems. Upon his election by the Melkite synod meeting in Lebanon on November 29, the new Patriarch promptly asked the Pope to extend full communion-- a request that prompted the Pope's positive response.

In his message, the Pope praised the "ancient spiritual and liturgical traditions" of the Eastern Church. As the Melkite Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory III presides over an Eastern-rite Church that includes five dioceses in Syria, seven in Lebanon, and one each in Jordan, Israel, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and the United States. There are about 1.2 million Melkite Catholics.

More Information

Catholic Churches

Orientale Lumen Sources on Eastern Catholic Churches Mr. Paul A. Zalonski, S.J.


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Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center
Martha Liles
Web URL address: Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center or http://www.mliles.com/melkite/
E-mail: mliles@mliles.com or mliles@mliles.com

Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is an unofficial Melkite Greek Catholic Web site and has not been reviewed or approved by any Melkite clergy person.
Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center contains a range of World Wide Web sites on Melkite faith, belief, practice, history, etc. Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center does not endorse any World Wide Web site nor takes any responsibility for the contents of any World Wide Web site. Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center offers these links with the understanding that Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center can not vouch for any of the contents on each site. Listing a site does not indicate acceptance nor endorsement of the doctrines / ideas / theology of the World Wide Web site. Please remember that Web sites will change their content and their location. It is the user's responsibility to decide whether or not the content on a particular World Wide Web site is appropripate.

Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is dedicated to my cousins: Bucky (Richard C. Liles) and Shirley (Shirley Jean Liles Buck). Bucky fell asleep in the Lord on Dec. 12, 2000 and Shirley fell asleep in the Lord on Nov. 8, 2001.
O God of all spirits and of all flesh, who have destroyed death, overcome the devil, and given life to the world: grant, O Lord, to the souls of your servants Bucky and Shirley, who has departed from this life, that it may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him/her every sin he/she has committed by thought, or word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin : You alone are without sin, your righteousness is everlasting, and your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life, and the repose of your departed servants Bucky and Shirley. O Christ our God, and we send up glory to You, together with your eternal Father and your all-holy, good and life-givng Spirit, now and always and for ages upon ages. Amen.

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