The Patriarchate of the Assyrian Church of the East

The Youth Association of the Assyrian Church of the East in Sydney organised a gathering of the faithful to which an invitation was extended to His Grace Mar Meelis Zaia AM, Bishop of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand to present an important historical lecture concerning the Patriarchal Seat and Succession within the history of the Assyrian Church of the East on Sunday the 13th of July 2008 at Edessa Hall to more than 500 faithful amongst whom were other clergy of the Church in Sydney. His Grace employed this important academic occasion to communicate to members of the Church in Sydney the most ancient history of the church and how its history has sustained and continued the adherence to sacred doctrines, rites, rituals and practices.

His Grace Bishop Mar Meelis Zaia AM commenced the evening’s lecture by offering a short history of the Church and the extensive role it has played within Christendom.  His Grace also explored and emphasised the hardships that the Assyrian and other peoples have faced during the long 2000 year history of the Church of the East and the blood that has been shed by Martyrs for the Holy Church.

Within the lecture His Grace urged the faithful to abandon giving any attention to those who seek to tarnish the name of the Holy Church and submerge it smear and emphatically called for Assyrians to take pride in their most Apostolic church. His Grace also attributed the ongoing success and modern-day relevance of the Church to the fact that the Assyrian Nation is a God fearing one and has always throughout its history placed itself at the mercy of its Divine Creator. Within this context His Grace discussed the role and importance of the Patriarchal Seat in the Church of the East and explored the history of the Church from its initial centralisation and thereafter.

It is worthy of noting that during a short break the St. Hurmizd Cathedral Ladies Auxiliary as always provided a light supper for those faithful in attendance.  The break was followed by an explanation concerning the method in which a present day Catholicos-Patriarch can be elected to the Holy See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, their position and role in the Church as well as the various schisms that have occurred in the modern-era history of the Church. His Grace re-emphasized how vital it is for faithful to maintain patriotism for their Assyrian Nation and a strong adherence to their church. His Grace also took the opportunity to assert that the Assyrian Church of the East always endeavors to work in a spirit of peace and cooperation with her fellow Christian brothers and sisters from various churches around the world.

The evening was truly a memorable occasion for those faithful interested in exploring the historical position and significance of the Church of the East and its modern day importance. Those who were attended expressed their desire to learn more about the history of the ancient and Apostolic Church of their forefathers.

The Assyrian Church of the East, with the assistance of its Youth Association will endeavor to continue the organisation of such events in the aim of broadening the knowledge foundation of young people in the Diocese as well as the general faithful. The Youth Association of the Assyrian Church of the East is indebted to His Grace Bishop Mar Meelis Zaia AM for the valuable time he has contributed towards the presentation of the lecture and look forward toward future such lectures presented by His Grace.

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