Newly-consecrated Bishop François Beyrouti, the head of the Melkite Greek Eparchy of Newton, USA, talks with Vatican News about the Eastern Catholic Churches and about his own particular Church in the United States. - By Christopher Wells

With more than 1.5 million faithful, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church is one of the largest Eastern Churches in union with Rome. The Melkite Church traces its roots back to the ancient See of Antioch, where the followers of Christ were first called Christians.

“We’re proud to say that we sent Peter over to Rome,” says Bishop François Beyrouti, the newly-consecrated bishop of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, USA, referring to the tradition that St Peter was Bishop of Antioch for seven years before going to the Eternal City.

Bishop Beyrouti was speaking in an interview with Vatican News during his own visit to Rome earlier this month, where he met with Pope Francis.

He described the shared Petrine foundation as “a great witness to the ties between the city of Rome and the city of Antioch, but also a celebration of our Apostolic Faith that, although started in Jerusalem, Antioch, and Rome [is] now spread throughout the entire world, which is kind of our mission in the United States,” serving the “new world.”

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