Syrian Catholic Church

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Syrian Catholic Church
Latin Ecclesia Syro-Catholica ,
Syriac ܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝܬܐ īṯo suryoyṯo qaṯolīqoyṯo
Basic data
Jurisdiction status Patriarchal Church
rite Antiochian rite
Liturgical language Syrian
calendar Julian calendar
Establishment date 1781
Seat Syrian Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch ( Beirut )
Hierarch Patriarch of Antioch and the Syrian Ignatius Joseph III. Younan
Jurisdictions 16
Believers 266,000
Bishops 18th
Parishes 79
Diocesan priest 140
Religious priest 36
Permanent deacons 19th
Friars 60
Religious sisters 41
Status: 2014
Template: Infobox rite church / maintenance / picture is missing

The Syrian Catholic Church ( Syriac Aramaic :ܥܕܬܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܬܐ ܩܬܘܠܝܩܝܬܐ īṯo suryaiṯo qaṯolīqaiṯo ) is the Roman Catholic rite church of the Syrian tradition of the Antiochene rite .

The Eastern Catholic Churches have around 150,000 members worldwide, mainly in Lebanon , Syria , Iraq , the USA and the other diaspora . Its head is the Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch , currently S. S. Mar Ignatius Joseph III. Younan , based in Beirut , Lebanon. The liturgical language is Syriac . Although Arabic is used very often in everyday life, a north-east Aramaic dialect is still spoken in some areas in northern Iraq and north-east Syria , which has developed from Syrian.


From 1628 the Jesuits , Capuchins and other orders worked in Aleppo (Syria). Quite a few Syrian Orthodox believers converted to Catholicism . In 1662, Ignatius Andreas Akhidjan, a representative of the Catholic group, was elected patriarch. After his death, both groups chose their own patriarchs. After the death of the Catholic Patriarch Petrus Gregorius (previously Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem) in 1702, the Ottomans did not allow a new Catholic Patriarch to be elected. In 1782 the newly elected Syrian Orthodox Patriarch converted to Catholicism, whereby the Syrian Catholic Church established its patriarchal line of succession .

The Syrian Catholic Church thus emerged in the 17th century from the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch , when the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo , Mor Ignatius Andreas Akhidjan (1662–1677), who was trained in Rome, was ordained by the Catholic Maronite Patriarch and sent a Catholic creed to Rome. Since 1783 there has been a stable Catholic succession line of the Syrian Patriarchs of Antioch, first based in Lebanon, from 1850 to 1920 in Mardin , and since 1920 with Ignatius Ephrem II Rahmani (1898–1929) in Beirut .

Present situation

Syrian Catholic St. Paul Cathedral in Damascus

In addition to the Patriarch, the Syrian Catholic Church has seventeen bishops (as of 2016). The liturgical language is Old Syriac Aramaic. The Julian calendar is followed. The date of Easter is old style. Many diaspora communities, however, adapt to the environment and therefore partly follow the Gregorian calendar .

The Syrian Catholic Church has been seeking union with the mother church, the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, since the mid-1990s.

In July 2014, the bishopric in Mosul was set on fire by ISIS fighters during the 2014 Iraq crisis .

See also


  • Wilhelm Vries: Three Hundred Years of the Syrian Catholic Hierarchy. In: Eastern Church Studies. 5. 1956, pp. 137-157.
  • Svante Lundgren: The Assyrians: From Nineveh to Gütersloh. Lit Verlag, Berlin / Münster 2015, ISBN 978-3-643-13256-7

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Eastern Catholic Churches 2014. (PDF) Catholic Near East Welfare Association, accessed February 11, 2015 .
  2. Syrian Catholics seek unity . ( Memento of October 7, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Vatican Radio , April 28, 2007
  3. Christian Cannuyer: Syriac Catholic Church . In: Wolfgang Thönissen (Hrsg.): Lexicon of ecumenism and denominational studies . On behalf of the Johann Adam Möhler Institute for Ecumenism. Herder Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau 2007, ISBN 978-3-451-29500-3 , pp. 1324-1325.
  4. Bishopric in Mosul in flames . The standard