Ignatius (Alhoushi) of Western and Southern Europe
Metropolitan Ignatius (secular name Rafiq Alhoushi; born 1970) is Antiochian Orthodox Metropoltan of France, Western and Southern Europe.
Born in Damascus in 1970, gained his secondary school certificate in Damascus in 1988 and joined the Electrical Engineering College at Damascus University in 1988.
In 1994 he entered the St George's monastery as a novice and became a monk in 1995.
In 2001 he moved to Greece where he acquired a Diploma in Byzantine Music from the National Institute in Athens, Greece and in 2006, the Bachelor's Degree in Theology from the Theological College in Athens.
In 2007 he was ordained Deacon with the laying on of the hands of His Eminence Bishop John (Yazigi) of Al Hosn diocese.
In 2008 he continued his higher studies in patristic theology at the Chambésy High School of Theology in Switzerland.
He was ordained priest in 2010 at the holy monastery of Penteli, Athens with laying on of the hands of His Eminence Bishop John Sakilario, the abbot of the monastery. Presently he is preparing his doctoral thesis on Byzantine Music. He is skilled in Ancient and Modern Greek as well as French.
He has contributed much in the teaching of ecclesiastical chant, the organising of musical concerts and also in the field of translating the liturgical services. The Paraclesis (Supplication) of our Lady, the Mother of God, (one of his works), has been published by the Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology in the University of Balamand, Lebanon.
He was an active member of the Orthodox Youth Movement in Damascus and the conductor of its choir, and he attended many conferences and meetings, acquiring much experience in ecclesiastical and pastoral matters.
On October 15, 2013 the Holy Synod of Antiochian Orthodox Church separated the Archiocese of Europe into 2 dioseces and Bishop Ignatius was elected as the Metropolitan of France, Western and Southern Europe.