Syriac Orthodox priest in Switzerland stripped of Holy Cross for disobedience of Church directives

BERN — Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Switzerland and Austria Mor Dionysius Issa Gürbüz announced the stripping of Father Aboun Khuroyo Abrohom Önal of his Holy Cross due to his failure to comply with the Church’s directives. The announcement was made in a statement in Syriac and expressed the archbishop’s disappointment over the priest’s lack of adherence to his parish in Tessin, Switzerland, for almost four years.

Priests are usually granted a Holy Cross by their respective Archdiocese as a sign of appreciation for their good service.

Despite several attempts by other priests to counsel him with love, Archbishop Gürbüz noted that the suspended priest continued to disregard the Church’s teachings and laws. The archbishop emphasized that he stripped Father Önal of his Holy Cross in accordance with the authority granted to him by Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II.

Archbishop Gürbüz concluded the statement by praying that the Father Önal would return to the path of righteousness.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Father Önal was suspended from priestly service. It was corrected on 31 March 2023 at 18:54 pm.