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"A Blessing to Antioch": AFR Profiles New Patriarch

Listen to "Who is the New Patriarch of Antioch?"

A December 19, 2012 report on the Ancient Faith Radio (AFR) podcast, "Ancient Faith Presents," offered insights into the background, qualifications, and personality of Patriarch-elect John X. As reported on, His Eminence the Metropolitan Archbishop of Western and Central Europe was elected Patriarch of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East on December 17, 2012, during a special session held at the Balamand Patriarchal Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.

In this exclusive AFR report, John Maddex interviewed two people who have longstanding ties with the newly elected Patriarch. The Very Rev. Joseph Allen, chairman of Theological and Pastoral Education at the Antiochian House of Studies, noted that he spent a number of hours with Patriarch-elect John when he visited the United States a few years ago and spoke at the Clergy Symposium at Antiochian Village. Father Joseph noted that Patriarch-elect John X will bring much to his new role, as one who is very well educated, possessing excellent English skills, liturgically talented, but also, a compassionate hierarch who has a heart for God and people. "He is strict for himself but forgiving in dealing with others—and he has a good sense of humor," said Fr. Joseph. "His election is a blessing to Antioch."

Nicholas Chapman, Managing Director of Holy Trinity Publications, the publishing arm of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, also contributed his insights to the AFR interview about the Patriarch-elect. He explained that he had the privilege of spending a good deal of time with the then-Metropolitan of the Archdiocese of Western and Central Europe. "He's a true monk who has helped to revive the monastic life in Lebanon and Syria," explained Chapman in the interview. He also mentioned Patriarch-elect John's skills as a liturgist and author, but commented that his greatest contribution is that he is a "natural pastor and people warm to him—he is free of pretensions. It's a truly wonderful time for the Patriarchate of Antioch."