ATCHANE, Lebanon – Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II yesterday received the Metropolitan of the See of Jerusalem of the Coptic Orthodox Church Mor Anba Antonios and Father Timon Syriani (‘the Syriac’), representative of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Lebanon. The meeting took place at the Patriarchal headquarters in Atchane.
The two sides discussed the general situation in the Middle East, the challenges facing Oriental and other Christians in their countries of origin, and reviewed the status of Orthodox Churches and the aid and spiritual services they provide to their parishes under difficult circumstances.
The meeting was attended by Syriac Orthodox Archbishop George Saliba (Mount Lebanon), Archbishop Samuel Aktas (Tur Abdin), and Bishop Mattias Nayis (patriarchal vicar to Germany).
The Syriac Orthodox Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church are both members of the Middle East Council of Churches which works towards the unification of visions, perspectives and attitudes among Eastern churches, especially on issues related to Christian presence and witness in the Middle East and Muslim-Christian relations.
The following Syriac churches are member churches: Syriac Maronite Church, Syriac Orthodox Church, Greek Catholic Melkite Church, the Syriac Chaldean Catholic Church of Babylon, Syriac Catholic Church, and Syriac evangelical churches. The Syriac Ancient Church of the East and the Assyrian Church of the East are not members – it is an open secret that the Coptic Church opposes their membership because of age-old diverging views on Christology and dogma.