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In his message to His Beatitude Yousseff I Absi, Greek-Melkite Patriarch Elect of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, congratulated him on his election as new head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. The text of the letter is given below.

Your Beatitude,

Please accept my greetings with your election as new head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

As is willed by the Divine providence, you accept the lot of Primatial ministry at a time of great upheavals for the land of the East. A violent conflict continues in the blessed land of Syria, with thousands of Christians, including the faithful of the Melkite Church, having already fallen victim to it. Being the Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop of Damascus all these past years, you were at the epicenter of the tragic events and know well what hardships the Syrian people have endured.

At a time when the very future of Christianity in the lands where it came into being is in jeopardy, we are called to active cooperation in order to re-establish the long-awaited peace and preach love, mercy and justice, commanded by God. I have warm recollections of our meetings and talks in Lebanon in November 2011 and in Moscow in October 2013, and hope for the continuation of the good relations between our Churches.

May the All-Merciful Lord grant you help in your ministry.

With love in the Lord,


Metropolitan of Volokolamsk


Department for External Church Relations

Moscow Patriarchate