IN THE NAME OF THE SELF-EXISTENT
SEMPITERNAL OF NECESSARY EXISTENCE THE ALMIGHTY
IGNATIUS PATRIARCH OF THE HOLY SEE OF ANTIOCH AND ALL THE EAST
SUPREME HEAD OF THE UNIVERSAL SYRIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN THE WORLD
ZAKKA I IWAS
|December 5, 2007|
We offer apostolic benediction and benevolent prayers and peace in the Lord to our brethren, their eminences, the esteemed Metropolitans, our spiritual children, priests, monks, nuns, deacons, and all Syriac Orthodox people worldwide. May the divine providence embrace them all by the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and St. Peter, the head of the apostles and the rest of the Martyrs and Saints. Amen.
After asking the Lord for your well being, and offering you our apostolic blessings, we say:
It is incumbent upon us as Patriarch and Father of the Syriac Orthodox people worldwide, to look after our spiritual children who are serving in Archdioceses and Patriarchal Vicariates all over the world. Yes indeed, the Holy Spirit is the teacher and instructor of the holy church, who always works to strengthen the faithful on the rock of faith and defeats the deceivers and erroneous who work for their own personal benefits, who through their faulty teachings that are far away from our Orthodox belief, do delude the meek and faithful. We shall never have partnership with such persons. We disown them as said by St. Paul , “Put away from yourselves the evil person” (2Cor. 5:13). The Lord Jesus Christ who redeemed His holy church by His blood after heaven announced through Peter that Jesus is the Son of God. In this regard the Lord said, “On this rock I shall build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mathew 16:18).
And today, as the deception of the so-called “Mushe Gorgun” and his foolishness in claiming Episcopalian position is revealed, he deserves the punishment of Korah and his followers who rebelled against the legitimate priests. We didn’t wish such a thing for this monk “Mushe”, but we hoped that he would repent. As a father, we directed him to straighten his acts showing him the right path to the holy monasticism and urged him to obey his bishop and head of the monastery, the late Metropolitan Mor Julius Isa Çiçek’s instructions, to repent as well as his rebellious followers who joined him in his rebellion against his former late bishop. But he didn’t regret any of his wicked deeds and thus defied the commandments of the apostles and the rules of the church. He followed the Satan of pride who deceives his followers and deluges them in his shameful abyss like Arius of Alexandria, who dreamed of sitting on the throne of the apostolic See of Alexandria, who tried to destroy the Christian faith by denying the divinity of Christ, and was excommunicated by the 318 Metropolitans who attended the Nicene Synod.
The so-called “Mushe” dared to resort to two excommunicated bishops from India and claimed that they ordained him as a bishop for Europe. They both broke away from our church of India and joined the enemies, and were excommunicated by the Holy Synod held in Damascus in 1975 which was headed by his holiness, the late Patriarch Ignatius Jacob III. John the apostle said, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.” (1 John 2:19)
St. Paul the apostle warns us saying, “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17&18).
Upon learning of the so-called “Mushe’s” dreadful offense and his betrayal to the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, we regretted that he never understood the true meaning of the holy monasticism. In fact, since he joined St. Jacob of Serouj monastery in Germany, and later St. Ephraim monastery in Holland, the seed of evil, the misunderstanding, and the tendency for rebellion were hiding under his cunning appearance. We gave him our fatherly advice many times and urged him to come back to the church and disavow his false claims and abide by the Orthodox faith. But he didn’t listen either to our advice or to the advice of his bishop, the late Mor Julius Isa Çiçek, the bishop of central Europe and head of St. Ephraim monastery in Holland, and instead he left a bitter taste in the church. And since he abandoned the church and claims falsely to be a bishop, we are writing you to act according to your spiritual responsibility as much as possible. Do not greet him and his followers.
And as per our fatherly duty and our apostolic authority we announce to our Syriac people worldwide that by this apostolic decree we officially excommunicate this imposter and rebel so-called “Mushe” who falsely claims his promotion to the Episcopal rank. We also announce that he is being stripped of all his priestly authority that was given to him illegitimately. He will be tied and never loosened except by our apostolic authority and after true repentance. He is now stripped from priesthood according to the apostle of love, St. John, who said, “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” (2 John 1:10&11)
Yes indeed, we disown the so-called “Mushe” and we excommunicate his disloyalty and shameful offense against the apostolic church of Antioch and we excommunicate any one who follows him as he has become a stumbling block to the faithful. In his letter to the clergy and institutions, he deepened the division, So, we decided that he no more has any ties to the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch or the clergy and laity. If he dares to perform any service it shall be openly nullified. And if any laity or clergy joins him, let him be a stranger to the body of our church and shall have no partnership with us or with the Syrian Orthodox church of Antioch in general.
We urge you to stay firm on the rock of faith by our Lord Jesus Christ, and not be shaken, but to abide by our Holy See of Antioch with one voice. We ask the Almighty that you continue to be one flock. May God deliver you from the seduction of the accursed Satan and deceitful people, that you may continue to keep the apostolic rules and regulations till the end and avoid chaos in the church.
As for the so-called “Mushe” who stole his leadership position in priesthood falsely and illegitimately, may God punish him according to his evil deeds and deliver the Holy Church from its enemies, and keep you all in true faith with good works and obedience to the apostolic Holy See of Antioch. With such deeds you shall please God and also make us joyful. We pray for you: May the Lord Jesus Christ who granted His disciples the power to step on snakes and scorpions and not be harmed, that you also defeat the enemies of the church. May He save you from the injuries of the adversary and keep you as a good seed for all kinds of virtues, and honor you with His visitation. Amen.
We conclude by offering you our blessings and prayers. May His grace be always with you.
Our Father Who art in heaven…