Patriarch John X met with the clergy of Damascus, bishops, priests and deacons altogether, including the students of the Institute of Theology, in the presence of Metropolitan Antonios of Zahle, Baalbek and their dependencies.
At the beginning of the meeting, Patriarch John gave his wishes for a blessed year to all those present with their families, and touched on the subject of family as the nucleus of the church and society, pointing up and reminding that this year was consecrated in the parishes of Damascus and its countryside to the family, according to the recommendations of the last Holy Synod. Then Patriarch John thanked Bishop Metropolitan Antonios for his presence in the Patriarchate and gave him the floor.
On his part, Bishop Metropolitan Antonios thanked the Patriarch for this generous invitation and addressed the audience on the importance of pastoral work and the role of the priest in the Christian family, as father and shepherd. He stressed the need for the priest to realize the importance of his role as the sensible presence of the Church among the parishioners.
The conversation was followed by a constructive discussion, an exchange of experiences, and enriching questions to Metropolitan Antonios. Then everyone was invited to share a meal.
Source: Patriarchate of Antioch