Patriarch Youssef Absi, the Melkite-Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, visited the Romanian Patriarchate on Friday, September 24, 2021.
He was welcomed at the Palace of the Patriarchate by the Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop Varlaam of Ploieşti.
After the meeting, Patriarch Youssef Absi shared his impressions of his “visit-pilgrimage” to Romania.
“I thank Patriarch Daniel for giving me the opportunity to make this visit. For me, it is a pilgrimage-visit, and for us who come from the Middle East, the Romanian Orthodox Church is a martyr Church.”
“The visit I just made to the Romanian Patriarchate was an opportunity for me to get to know, albeit briefly, the Romanian Orthodox Church. I managed to find that the Romanian Orthodox Church takes care not only of its believers but also of those from other religious communities.”
“I was impressed by the deep faith of the Romanian people and I take this opportunity to encourage them to remain faithful and Christian.”
“I came to Romania at the invitation of one of our Christians. I visited several monasteries and churches, but I was most impressed by the faith of the Romanian people,” Patriarch Youssef Absi noted.
Patriarch Youssef Absi made a brief presentation of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.
“The Melkite Catholic Church was born in 1724, which means that we celebrate 300 years since its birth in three years. Our Church is an Antiochian Church, and its headquarters are in Damascus. Christians in this community are in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, the United States, Latin America, and Europe.”
“The presence of our Church in the diaspora came later. Within our Church, we have our own schools, dispensaries, and hospitals, charitable institutions. At the moment, the Melkite Catholic Church is suffering because of the crisis the Middle East is facing, which is causing Christians to emigrate.”
The Melkite Catholic Patriarch of Antioch visited Romania at the invitation of the Alexandrion Foundation.