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Axios! Axios! Holy Synod of Antioch Elects Two New Metropolitans

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie)By the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Synod of Antioch, under the presidency of His Beatitude Patriarch John X, elected two new metropolitan archbishops in its current session at St. Elias Patriarchal Monastery in Shwayya, Lebanon. His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, primate of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, participated in the elections.

His Grace Bishop Ignacio (Semaan) is the new metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Mexico, Central America, Venezuela and the Caribbean. He succeeds His Eminence Metropolitan Antonio (Chedraoui) who reposed in the Lord this past June, after leading his archdiocese for 51 years. Sayidna Ignacio served as an auxiliary bishop in Mexico for the past six years and as patriarchal vicar of the widowed archdiocese. According to the Mexican Archdiocese, Sayidna Ignacio received a bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Damascus; He received a degree in Theology from the Institute of St. John of Damascus, University of Balamand, Lebanon, in 2001. He was director of the Choir of Byzantine Sacred Music of that institution from 1997-2001. He also studied in the Department of Liturgics of the University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Basilios (Kodseie) is the metropolitan-elect of the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand, Oceana and the Philippines. He also served as the patriarchal vicar of the widowed archdiocese following the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Paul (Saliba) this past July, after leading the Australian Archdiocese for 18 years. Fr. Basilios has served as pastor of the Church of the Dormition in Mount Prichard, Sydney, New South Wales. Details of Fr. Basilios' consecration to the sacred episcopacy are still being formulated.

Sayidna Joseph congratulates both men on behalf of the hierarchs, clergy, board of trustees and laity of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. Metropolitan Joseph prays, and asks for the prayers of the Archdiocesan clergy and faithful, to Almighty God that He will bless the new ministries of Metropolitan Ignacio and Metropolitan-elect Basilios and all of the clergy and faithful of the Archdioceses of Mexico and Australia.