Talk:Church of Antioch

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Misleading Sentence

This sentence from the article is misleading: '[...the Church of Antioch refers to itself as the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.] The literal translation into English of the Arabic name is "Roman (in Arabic, Rum) Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East." ' The Arabic word "RUM," while indeed literally translated as "Roman," fails to explain that "Rum" denoted Greeks of the Roman Empire (once the capital was moved from Rome to Constantinople); ie East Roman/Byzantine "Greek Romans." In fact, Arabic does not have an equivalent to the word "Greek" to this day, instead referring to the modern Greek nations (Greece and Cyprus) and it's people as Romans ("Rum").--Nikoz78 21:59, April 1, 2010 (UTC)

Please read the title of the Church of Antioch's website: Wsk 01:11, April 2, 2010 (UTC)


Hi. You say the Population estimate are 750,000 to 1,000,000. That is not true, we are just in Syria 750,000 to 1,000,000 and in lebanon 300,000 and in Iraq 250,000 and in Turkey 100,000 ... I read in Arabic ENCYCLOPEDIA that the Antioch Church Population are 12 Million around the world. Please change It. --Habib 16:43, March 8, 2007 (PST)

Can you cite a source for this figure? One scholarly source with which I am familiar is this one, which lists the 750k figure. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 17:57, March 8, 2007 (PST)

Yes sure, ARABIC ENCYCLOPEDIA Vol I under word "ORTHODOX CHURCH" in arabic الكنيسة الأرثوذكسية by Nazim Kalas.

in arabic:

بطريركية أنطاكية وسائر المشرق، ومقرها دمشق،وتشمل ست عشرة أبرشية وثماني معتمديات بطريركية. ويتوزع رعاياها (نحو 12 مليوناً) في سورية ولبنان والعراق وأوربة الغربية وأمريكة وأسترالية.

it`s mean: Roman Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, Headquarters in Damascus, it has 16 Archdioceses and the Believers are around 12 Millin in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Western Europe, America and Australian.

GBU--Habib 18:19, March 9, 2007 (PST)

I can't read Arabic, but I am wondering about the nature of this source. Is it from a printed book? And does it cite a source for its figures? Thanks!—Fr. Andrew talk contribs 05:57, March 9, 2007 (PST)

ARABIC ENCYCLOPEDIA Is a printed book in Syria, Damascus. in More as 20 volumes. i Translated the Text from arabic to English. --Habib 18:19, March 9, 2007 (PST)

File:ArabEncyc01.gif Arabic Encyclopedia printed in 11 volumes.

Chrisg 06:26, March 9, 2007 (PST)

A link is sufficient. I'm almost certain that we don't have permission to use that image. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 11:47, March 9, 2007 (PST)

ARABIC ENCYCLOPEDIA Chrisg 11:53, March 9, 2007 (PST)

Habib definitely has a point. The population statistic given in the text says between 750,000-1 million in Syria alone, while the margin population for the whole patriarchate gives the same figure. It can't be as high as 12 million, but should be at least 2 million given America, Lebanon, Syria, Western Europe. Admittedly a real number would be hard to get.


This Church in Beirut is not an Orthodox one. It is a catholic armenian church in downtown. Our Church in downtown is St. George's. Please change the picture.

The person who took the photograph went there and told me that it was Orthodox. In any event, can you provide a photo of another church? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 05:55, 1 November 2005 (CST)

Yeah sure. I will get you a photo of St. George's. It's the oldest church in Lebanon. It's in fact three churches in one. It is really famous. I wonder who's that person who took that photo is! Didn't you notice that it's not built according to the Greek/Byzantine style.

There are a lot of variations on the Byzantine style. You can see Greek parishes in the US that look like the one in question. By the way, it will be helpful to all of us if you'd sign your posts on Talk pages. You can use ~~~~ to add your name and the time to your additions. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 15:21, 1 November 2005 (CST)

Where is that talk page? and by the way, how do I add my name?

And with all due respect, the churches here (in this region) are ancient ones, unlike those in the US.


Roman Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East? Okay, I speak Arabic. We are "Roum Orthodox" in arabic. But Roum doesn't mean Roman, it means Byzantine. Just like The Roum Malkain are Greek Catholic, the Roum Orthodox are Greek Orthodox. Who has given you this faulty translation?

Roum is indeed derived from Roman and quite literally means the same thing. There never was any such thing as a "Byzantine" Empire. The inhabitants of that empire regarded and called themselves Romans (Romaioi). The translation was provided by the liturgical Arabic professor here at the seminary, who is a native of Jordan. It's also been corroborated by multiple clergy of Arabic background whom I know. He tells me that the Arabic word for "Byzantine" (as in, "Byzantine chant") is Bizanti. So, the upshot is that I'm going to stand by this translation, as it is not only consistent with my own etymological studies, but has the authority of, well, the authorities.
Regarding the architecture question, I was simply explaining why the church appeared Byzantine to me, not claiming that American ones were a standard. It is misleading, though, to imply that all the churches in the Middle East are ancient. There have been a goodly number that have been built in recent years, especially with the rebuilding of Beirut and the opening of other new churches, and thus a good number postdate many American ones, many of which are well over a century old.
Regarding signing Talk pages, this page you are reading right now is a Talk page, and you can add your name by using ~~~~.—Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 17:45, 2 November 2005 (CST)

Church photo

Well, I've been told that the photo of the church we have here is Orthodox (a friend of mine), Armenian (Fadymm), and Maronite [1] by different sources. Anyone know the real story? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 11:21, November 7, 2005 (CST)

My husband found the website of the Greek Orthodox church of St. George, and one of the pictures (top right) looks as though it might be a different one from the pictures we have. Unfortunately, they do not have many (current) pictures of the exterior. Their newsletter (PDF, p. 10 of 12) has some, but I can't tell whether I'm simply looking at another side of the same building. He also found another site with external photos of Beirut's "St. George Greek Orthodox Church." This looks to me like a hard thing to pin down without a plane ticket. —magda (talk) 12:04, November 7, 2005 (CST)
I've changed the image for the time being. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 13:43, November 7, 2005 (CST)

I am lebanese and I live in Beirut and I come from the North (somewhere next to Balamand). SO I know which chruch is Armenian, which one is maronite and which one is Greek Orthodox! That picture was of the catholic armenian church! My mother's aunt funeral was held there! I will try to take a picture of St. G in downtown this weekend. Fadymm 05:04, November 8, 2005 (CST) (the four tildas!)

"Roman" Orthodox redux

Re: the recent edits by Chrisg

The Orthodox Arabs I know from the Middle East, whether Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Palestinian, etc., all use the term Roum commonly when referring to Orthodoxy (often in contrasting "Roman Orthodox" with "Roman Catholic"). I'm genuinely curious as to what the source is for the idea that Roum was an imposition by the Ottomans and then all these other states, especially since "Roman" is precisely how the citizens of the pre-1453 empire situated in Constantinople saw themselves.

Are all these governments really imposing this name on them by law? Do they really instead think of themselves as "Greek"? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 20:06, March 13, 2006 (CST)

The Church of Antioch is known in the offical grants by the Ottomans and their political successors as the 'Rum' or 'Roum' Orthodox Church of Antioch and All the East. The surviving title deeds to properties are all in this name.

Since 1898 and the removal of the foreign language patriarchs and the installation of the principal language patriarchs, the Church of Antioch is not happy to be considered Greek or Roman or anything other than Orthodox.

However, the secular powers, especially the French, refused to allow any alteration to the name of the Orthodox Church. The French were unsympathetic towards the Orthodox in their purview, and would not do anything to assist their mission. The Maronites were their favoured variety of Christian.

The continuing attempts by some of the Greek Patriarchs in Istanbul to impose their ethnocentric sense of Orthodoxy on the Church of Antioch has caused many hard feelings, and an unhappiness to continue the use of the name 'Roum'. However the secular authorities are not interested in the convoluted process required to change a transnational name from what it has been for centuries.

chrisg 2006-03-14 1334 AEDT

I can certainly believe that the Ottomans used the term Roum for the Orthodox, but ISTM that it couldn't have been an imposition but rather predates their takeover of the region (i.e. they were using the term the locals used for themselves), especially since Greek was a term for the pre-Christian pagans of the Empire.
The French no longer have any control over the region, but I am curious if the current governments of all those states are mandating terminology. Do you have any sources that can be cited for the imposition view? —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 20:40, March 13, 2006 (CST)

=Since 1898 it has been viewed as an unwanted imposition since the earlier name could not be changed to reflect the new situation.

When you have one secular jurisdiction determining a name for a church, then it is relatively easy to change the name, such as with the name for the Orthodox Church in America. That name is registered at civil law.

However when you have a number of competing, unfriendly, or outright warring nations, all involved in the need to register the name in each of their territories, it becomes a civil law nightmare.

I am instructed there are no sources available in the English language.

However, following your inquiries, that may change in the very near future, as long as it doesn't become another bone of contention and source of greater estrangement between the Antiochian Church and the followers of a particular Imperial Ethnarch.

chrisg 2006-03-14 1447 AEDT

Syriac/Syrian Orientals

The source for the name Syriac (rather than Syrian) is Wikipedia:Syriac Orthodox Church, which notes that the church's holy synod changed the official English name in 2000. One can still find both Syrian and Syriac (example) used on various websites, but the only one for which there seems to be any reference in terms of officiality is Syriac. Fr. Ronald Roberson, an RC scholar specializing in Eastern Christianity, also notes this official change made in April 2000[2]. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 20:16, March 13, 2006 (CST)


I deleted the sentence characterizing Chambesy as representing universal consensus that the EO and OO Christological positions are the same in essence. Certainly, that is not true on the EO side of the argument. Chambesy has received severe criticism from a host of Orthodox voices.

In any event, a discussion of Chambesy is better left to its own article. If and when it is drafted, a cross-reference may be appropriate. —Dcn. David talk contribs 23:22, March 14, 2006 (CST)

Wrong Arabic interwiki

The Arabic interwiki links to "أنطاكية", which means Antioch, not Church of Antioch, and the article is about the town, not the church. --Filius Rosadis 14:45, August 24, 2007 (PDT)

Official Arabic name and other issues

According to the current version of the article, The literal translation into English of the Arabic name used under Ottoman law and its successors is "Roman Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East." But according to the official web page of the Church of Antioch, the name in Arabic is بطريركية أنطاكية وسائر المشرق للروم الأرثوذكس, which literally stands for "Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East for the Orthodox Byzantines" or for the "Orthodox Greeks". The Arabic word "Rum" doesn't mean Rome but Byzantium, i.e. Middle Age Greece.

Another confusing passage is "…Arabic name used under Ottoman law and its successors". The Ottoman Empire's official language was not Arabic but Turkish, and the Empire's successor is the Republic of Turkey, where the official language is also Turkish.

As for the last Patriarch who was a Greek national, the article's explanation conflicts with the official web page's historical overview.

The article's current version says: By the 18th century the great majority of the communicants of the Antiochian church were Arabs. In 1898 the last Greek patriarch was deposed, and an Arab successor was elected in 1899. Thus the patriarchate became fully Arab in character. But the Church's web page suggests that the patriarchate was mostly Arab in character except between 1724 and 1898: With the impending presence of Catholicism and its impact on Patriarchate elections, and for the purpose of preserving the Antioch see Orthodoxy, the Orthodox parishioners and bishops requested the ecumenical Patriarchate to send them a Greek patriarch. The Greek presence on the Antioch Orthodox see lasted from 1724 to 1898. But due to the increasing popular demand, the first Arab patriarch was appointed. He was Patriarch Malathius I (Doumani) the Damascene.

I'll make some editions, feel free to change or revert. --Filius Rosadis 14:21, August 28, 2007 (PDT)

Wrong names of syrian dioceses

Wikipedia [3] transfers a slightly different list of dioceses on the Middle East and Syria. --Stone18 09:15, February 18, 2012 (HST)

The web sites for the Antiochian 'Archdioceses' do not use "Metropolis". The sites read "Archdiocese". Which is correct? Wsk 15:41, February 18, 2012 (HST)