ANKAWA/ERBIL, Iraq – The Secretariat of the Holy Synod of the Syriac Assyrian Church of the East has announced in a press release that Patriarch Gewargis III Sliwa has called for the gathering of an extraordinary meeting of the Holy Synod in Erbil. Catholicos-Patriarch Gewargis III Sliwa announced in February 2020 that he had contracted a disease in December 2019 while in Germany, and that his health condition and the process of recovery had become a great burden for him personally.
The now issued announcement to the media stated that Patriarch Gewargis III Sliwa has informed the bishops of his Church that he “of his own free will, and after long contemplation, has decided to step down from his ecclesiastical responsibilities starting April 22, because he is no longer able to carry out his responsibilities and administrative duties as the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.” In the press release, the secretariat called on the faithful to pray for His Holiness Patriarch Gewargis III Sliwa and that a new patriarch will be chosen according to the will of God.
The Assyrian Church of the East is an Eastern Christian church of the Syriac rite and uses eastern Syriac in its liturgy. It belonged to the Church of the East which split into the Chaldean Catholic Church, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East. Other Syriac churches are the Syriac Maronite, Syriac Catholic, Syriac Orthodox, and Greek-Rum Orthodox and Catholic churches. The Assyrian Church of the East has several hundred of thousands followers with a big diaspora outside the Middle East in e.g. Sydney, San Diego and Chicago.
Article in Arabic