Rai, Syrian officials attend Yazigi’s inauguration ceremony

Antioch Youhanna X YazigiLebanon’s Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Cardinal Beshara Boutros Rai participated in  the   inauguration ceremony of the new Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch Youhanna X Yazigi , which was  held on Sunday at the Church of the Holy Cross in Syria’s Qassaa , in the heart of Damascus.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad also   participated  in the inauguration ceremony and he and Rai exchanged few words according to reports coming from Damascus.

Presidential Affairs Minister Mansour Azzam, a key adviser to Bashar Assad, was among ministers representing the embattled government.

Gregorios III Laham, Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, was also among the top spiritual officials present at the mass.

TV footage showed  Rai and Laham speaking with Mekdad as he entered the church to attend the ceremony.

Patriarch Youhanna X Yazigi ceremonySecurity was described as extremely  tight. Snipers were deployed on the rooftops around the church and guests  were whisked through metal detectors at the door, but their drivers were prohibited from parking, and the crowd  of devotees had to watch the ceremony  on a giant screen outside.

Following his inauguration, Patriarch Youhanna X Yazigi said that Christians and Muslims are not only partners in fate, but they built together the civilization of the country that should be preserved.

Yazigi thanked the Syrian President Bashar Assad along with other officials and said: “We hope that Syria would find a peaceful political solution so that violence ends and peace and stability prevail in the country”.

Patriarch Yazigi also saluted the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and said that anything that harms Lebanon or Syria would be harming both countries deeply.

Patriarch  Rai said that talking about democracies, reforms, and human rights is not worth shedding a drop of blood of any innocent man .  H said that he came to Damascus at a difficult time to confirm his solidarity with the “wounded” Syrian people.

“You have been chosen at a difficult time in Syria,” he told the Greek Orthodox patriarch. “We stress unity and love among us.”

“We are all brothers and sisters and we should preserve the life of humans,” he said.

In remarks to LBCI, on Saturday Rai  said his visit is strictly spiritual and church related and denied that  it has  a political dimension.

Rai  has criticized the Arab Spring on several occasions and said that violence and bloodshed is turning it into winter. He has always been careful not to be seen supporting either side in the Syrian conflict but has adopted a position close to Assad’s by saying reforms should not be imposed from outside.

As for the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregorios III Lahham, he said that the 3 Patriarch are in Syria in order to work for the unity of the Christians as well as the Christian-Islamic unity in Syria in light of these difficult days.

Yazigi was appointed a deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1983. He was the Head of the Our Lady of Balamand Monastery from 2001 to 2005. In 2008 he was elected the Metropolitan of western and central Europe.

LBC

  • ghzayel

    strange patriarch indeed!!!!!!!

    a similar inaugural ceremony is going to be held in st nicolas church in beirut in the coming days , so ya batrak and with all due respects of course, what are you doing in syria mingling with syrian regime officials involved in a controversial and bloody war against the majority of their own people??????????

    • guss043

      well in a way I agree that he shouldn’t be there ,but by the end it is a big religious ceremony, the RAI message is the minority are in danger , Christians ,Armenians, Alawites and even many of the Sunnis who still are with the regime . Don’t blame the patriarch bu the Sunnis religious leaders and politicians. Assir request last Christmas to ban Christmas decoration in Saida and the actual removal of the Christmas decoration in Tripoli last december n are not a very good sign from the Sunnis toward the Christians to calm their fears , and their open accusation that christians are fighting with the regime and behind the regime is like them Ya Haram they never been with the regime since 1970,not forgetting that most of the Army in Syria is Sunni and few deserted only !! stop this mskhara all together ,With all due respect, the Sunnis in Lebanon and Syria forgot how deeply involved with Assad regime the son and father to conspire against the Christians, even Hariri was part of the Ghazi Kenaan in making sure that the Christians opposing Syria are marginalized from 1990 to now . As for the Sunni in Syria all Damascus Sunnis swear by the name of Assad who made them filthy rich, Abdel Halim Khaddam a Sunni who screw Lebanon every day the sun rose and living in Paris with the money he took from Lebanon or who knows from where , The Sunni have to stop playing the victims as they are the main responsible of weakening the state and the army since independence and now feeling the Syria is becoming a sunni state again we can start seeing their bullying again and soon maybe the request again to be with Syria on as they requested in Beirut conference in 1936 by Salim Salam ,father of Saeb Salam to join Syria, So Haj Bouka al Atlal from Gegagea or anyone else talking about the Patriarach visit , am not definitely a Aoun or Hizbollah supporter!!!, but no one is allowed to tell the patriarch what to do or where to go or not or that his trip endanger the Christians of Syria and Lebanon , we didnt stop being in danger since the begining of time in this frigin cursed Middle East !!!

  • ghzayel

    strange patriarch indeed!!!!!!!

    a similar inaugural ceremony is going to be held in st nicolas church in beirut in the coming days , so ya batrak and with all due respects of course, what are you doing in syria mingling with syrian regime officials involved in a controversial and bloody war against the majority of their own people??????????

    • Guss Gibs

      well in a way I agree that he shouldn’t be there ,but by the end it is a big religious ceremony, the RAI message is the minority are in danger , Christians ,Armenians, Alawites and even many of the Sunnis who still are with the regime . Don’t blame the patriarch bu the Sunnis religious leaders and politicians. Assir request last Christmas to ban Christmas decoration in Saida and the actual removal of the Christmas decoration in Tripoli of Xmas decoration are not a very good sign from the Sunnis toward the Christians,Will all due respect, the Sunnis in Lebanon and Syria forgot how deeply involved with Assad regime the son and father to conspire against the Christians, even Hariri was part of the Ghazi Kenaan in making sure that the Christians opposing Syria are marginalized from 1990 to now . As for the Sunni in Syria all Damascus Sunnis swear by the name of Assad to make them filthy rich, Abdel Halim Khaddam a Sunni who screw Lebanon every day the sun rose and living in Paris with the money he took from Lebanon , let’s not forget and the Sunni have to stop playing the victims as they are the main responsible of weakening the state and the army since independence and now feeling the Syria is becoming a sunni state again we can start seeing their bullying again and soon maybe the request again to be with Syria on as they requested in Beirut conference in 1936 by Salim Salam ,father of Saeb Salam to join Syria, So Haj Bouka al Atlal from Gegagea or anyone else talking about the Patriarach, am not definitely a Aoun or Hizbollah supporter!!!, but no one is allowed to tell the patriarch what to do or where to go or not or that his trip endanger the Christians of Syria and Lebanon , we didnt stop being in danger since the begining of time in this frigin cursed Middle East !!!