CWN - At a meeting in Lebanon last week, the Synod of the Melkite Catholic Church reached an accord ending a heated dispute that had led Patriarch Gregory III Laham to say that some bishops were in “open rebellion.”

Last June, a meeting of the Melkite Synod was postponed after a group of bishops boycotted the meeting, causing the absence of a quorum. The dissident prelates—led by Archbishop Cyrille Bustos of Beirut—had called for the resignation or removal of the Patriarch, saying that he had weakened the Church through mismanagement. Patriarch Gregory responded by saying that the boycott was “an act of open ecclesiastical rebellion against patriachal authority.”

The Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches intervened to mediate the dispute, and the apostolic nuncios in Syria and Lebanon both attended last week’s Synod meeting to encourage open dialogue. In a closing statement the Synod thanked the Holy See for its involvement.

The Synod issued a candid acknowledgement of the dispute, indicating that both sides had been at fault: "During the meeting, the bishops found regrettable and disturbing the insurmountable difficulties that have lately appeared. Nevertheless, dialogue between the participants has resulted in positive results. Some of the bishops who did not participate in previous synods or spread misleading statements in the media admitted that they behaved in an improper manner. They recognised they did wrong. The bishops noted some mismanagement, probably involuntary, in the administration of the Greek Catholic Church."

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Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

We truly love God and keep His commandments if we restrain ourselves from our pleasures. For he who still abandons himself to unlawful desires certainly does not love God, since he contradicts Him in his own intentions. . . Therefore, he loves God truly, whose mind is not conquered by consent to evil delight. For the more one takes pleasure in lower things, the more he is separated from heavenly love.

St. Gregory the Great