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Archbishop congratulates new Supreme Head of Universal Syriac Orthodox Church

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to congratulate His Holiness Mor Ignatius Aphrem II on his election as the 123rd successor of St Peter in the Apostolic See of Antioch and All the East, and Supreme Head of the Universal Syriac Orthodox Church.

In the letter, Archbishop Justin notes the Patriarch Designate’s “distinguished ministry and leadership”.

He continues: “Your contributions to history, literature and theology, as well as your interest in strengthening the ministry to children, as seen in the children’s books you have published, will be of significant importance at a time of enormous challenges in the Middle East, but also in different parts of the world.

“You also bring with you an understanding for the context in the United Kingdom, having had part of your education in Ireland and having served as a priest to the Syriac Orthodox Community here. You have furthermore played an important role in the new phase of work in the International Anglican Oriental Orthodox Dialogue and we look forward to a time of continuing enrichment in our church to church relationships.”

Archbishop Justin concludes the letter by offering prayers “that the bonds of our friendship will continue to grow and that our Lord Jesus will draw us closer to the unity, which is His will for all the faithful.

“I greet you in this spirit and assure you of our sincere prayers as your prepare for your enthronement on Ascension Day, 29 May 2014 at the Mor Ephrem monastery in Ma`arat Sayyidnaya, near Damascus.”

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