Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan was born Nov. 15, 1944. He was ordained a priest in 1971 and served as pastor of the Church of the Annunciation in Beirut up until 1986, when he came to the United States. There he established several missions for Syrian Catholics; Our Lady of Deliverance in Newark, New Jersey, Sacred Heart Syriac Catholic Parish in North Hollywood, Ca and Our Mother of Perpetual Help Syriac Catholic Church in San Diego. He was appointed Bishop by Pope John Paul II in 1995 and elected as 'Primate and Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church' in 2009, his election being confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI.
Yet a search of google news for Joseph III Younan reveals a single scant article. Interesting that the highest-ranking Patriarch of the world's largest Christian religion merits no coverage whatsoever in the U.S. or global corporate media, if he dares to point out the evil and deceptive actions of the United States.
On May 10 Catholic News Service reported Syrian crisis part of Western geopolitical strategy, says patriarch, which stated, in part
"The Syriac Catholic patriarch said events in Syria were the result of Western nations carrying out a geopolitical strategy "to split Syria and other countries" in the Middle East. "It's not a question of promoting democracy or pluralism as the West wants us to understand of its policies. This is a lie, this is hypocrisy,"... "Western nations did not heed warnings and so "bear responsibility for what is happening in Syria." "We were warning all those involved, the countries in the region and in the West -- that means the United States and some of the European Union countries, like the United Kingdom and France -- that this kind of violence would lead to chaos and the chaos to a civil war," Patriarch Younan said. "And at that time, two years ago, they chose not to believe that."The International Catholic News Weekly The Tablet picked up on the CNS story in their article Syriac Patriarch hits out at West.
"Since the beginning, they (Western nations) just stood against the regime, calling it a dictatorship, saying the dictatorship must fall. Now it's over 25 months, the conflict is getting worse, and the ones who are paying the price are the innocent people," ... "The patriarch emphasized that "we are not siding either with Assad or with his regime. We are with the Syrian people, and our concern is how can we get this country (Syria) back on its feet for the sake of the population."
"We are not politicians," the patriarch said. "We just want our people to be able to stay in their own country and to live peacefully with others, and we want true civil rights and religious liberty."...He said Western nations encouraged conflict in the Mideast "in the name of the so-called awakening of people, of democracy," adding that "the so-called Western democracy" cannot be exported to countries that still look at religion as a base for ruling their regimes or political life." ... "Christians in the Middle East have been not only abandoned, but we have been lied to and betrayed by Western nations, like the United States and the European Union," he said. "And I believe there will be a time coming when the Christians of the Middle East will no longer look to the West for support and perhaps to better strengthen their roots with the Eastern culture and civilization. They are better to look to the East, to ... Russia, to India, to China," he said... The patriarch said he had no news of two Orthodox bishops kidnapped April 22, but said the United States was "very able to get the news if they want to."
A 1995 L.A. Times article reported Younan's appointement to Bishop by Pope John Paul II, stating in part,
"Most of the Syriac church's adherents in the United States, Younan said Saturday, are first-generation Middle Eastern immigrants who must deal with the emotional scars of war and social unrest along with the difficult job of getting along in a new country. The familiar rituals of the church, he said, can make the transition easier. "It is the challenge for all immigrating ethnic groups--to acculturate to the American culture without denying their identity as Middle Eastern Semitic people and Christian people," he said. "Being attached to our very ancient liturgical rites is very helpful." [Valley Priest to Be Bishop of New Diocese : Religion: Pope names North Hollywood clergyman to head North American jurisdiction of Syriac Catholic Church. 11/19/95.]
The Times also noted that "He came to the United States nine years ago from Lebanon, where he worked as a parish priest during the civil war that devastated that country during the 1980s."
In January 2009 Bishop Younan was elected as 'Primate and Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church,' and his election was confirmed by Pope Benedict XVI. A 2009 Zenit article Pontiff Urges Syriac Leader to Remember Diaspora notes "The Holy Father urged the patriarch and Syriac Catholics to be beacons of peace in the Middle East, 'where the Syrian Church has an appreciated historical presence.'"
The Syrian Catholic Church still uses uses Aramaic in its liturgy, the language spoken by Christ." The public may be most familiar with from Mel Gibson's blockbuster film The Passion of the Christ.
Regarding the title 'Patriarch', Wikipedia explains that Patriarch is the highest ranking Bishop:
"The word has acquired specific ecclesiastical meanings. In particular, the highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church (above Major Archbishop and Primate), and the Assyrian Church of the East are termed Patriarchs (and in certain cases also popes). The office and ecclesiastical circumscription (comprising one or more provinces, though outside his own (arch)diocese he is often without enforceable jurisdiction) of such a Patriarch is termed a Patriarchate."
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