Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How the Patriarchate of Antioch Elects a New Patriarch

Arabic original taken from here. This translation is in no way official and I apologize in advance for any ambiguities or inaccuracies in it.

Section Three of the Statute of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch

Paragraph 32: The candidate for the office of patriarch should be one of the members of the Holy Synod who has worked in it for a period of at least five years.

Paragraph 33: The office of patriarch shall be considered vacant in the event of the patriarch's death, resignation, dismissal, or permanent disability.

Paragraph 34:
In the case of death, the patriarchal vicar seals the patriarch's quarters and letters with red wax in the presence of the head of the patriarchal office and members of the community for whom it is convenient to be present. He arranges a register signed by those present. He then announces the patriarch's death by telegram to the bishops and metropolitans of the See of Antioch.

Paragraph 35: Twenty-four hours after the announcement of  his death and the attendance of the metropolitans, those of them who are present gather under the leadership of the senior in order of consecration to elect one of them as patriarchal locum tenens.

Paragraph 36: The patriarchal locum tenens immediately announces his position to Church and civil authorities and announces the date of the funeral, indicating his election as patriarchal locum tenens.

Paragraph 37: The body lays in state in the cathedral, where the funeral is held on the appointed date. He is then buried in the cemetery of the patriarchs.

Paragraph 38:
The competencies of the patriarchal locum tenens are limited to carrying out activities related to the election of the successor patriarch. He remains at the patriarchal headquarters and does not have the right to initiate any change or substitution in status, personnel, property, endowments, or assets of the patriarchate.

Paragraph 39: After the ceremony of burial, within a period that is not more than ten days from the date of the vacancy, the Holy Synod gathers with not less than two thirds of its members, under the presidency of the patriarchal locum tenens, to nominate and elect. If two thirds of its members are not available, the locum tenens telegraphs those who are tardy to call them to attend. After twenty-four hours from the time the telegraph is sent, the Holy Synod gathers with those who are present. Each member nominates three metropolitans who meet the conditions delineated in Paragraph 32 of this statute.  The results are then read publicly and the three who receive the most votes are nominated.

Paragraph 40: If there is a tie in the votes between two candidates, one of them is chosen by lot.

Paragraph 41:
Nomination is conducted in the following manner:
a. If a ballot contains more than three names, the first three names are taken.
b. A ballot containing one or two names is considered valid.
c. If the same name appears more than once on a single ballot, the name is counted once.
d. Illegible ballots are invalid.
e. Ballots that contain names other than of candidates are not accepted.

Paragraph 42: The process of election takes place in the church in the following manner:
If a candidate receives two thirds of the votes he is immediately declared patriarch. However, if no candidate receives two thirds of the votes, then the ballot is held again and the one receiving the majority of votes in this round is declared patriarch and the results are recorded in the official register.

Paragraph 43: The conditions of Paragraph 41 of this statute apply to the ballots for the election.

Paragraph 44: Immediately after the new patriarch is named, those present perform prayers of thanksgiving under the leadership of the patriarch-elect. Then all come forward to congratulate the new patriarch. The result is published in all media.

Paragraph 45: The installation of the patriarch takes place on a date that he himself determines and announces to the churches and civil authorities.

Paragraph 46: The patriarch presides at the divine liturgy on the day of his installation with the participation of the leaders of the Orthodox delegations. He receives the crosier from the senior Antiochian metropolitan in order of consecration and he gives a speech in which he swears to preserve the dogmas and canons and mentions the major lines of his work in the See of Antioch.

Paragraph 47: The patriarch begins his duties by giving his blessing to the people and sending a letter of peace to the heads of the Orthodox churches.


Fr Michael Laffoon said...

I believe it is "three quarters of the metropolitans" in paragraph 39 not "three"

Samn! said...

Oops, thanks for catching that! It should be "two thirds".

Anonymous said...

lies in state, not lays.

Anonymous said...

Is this is the passage the above indicated needing correction? "Each member nominates three metropolitans who meet the conditions.." If so, this is correct as written and does not need to be changed.

Samn! said...

Anon-- no... it was an earlier mistake that has already been corrected in the text that's up.

John said...

Ten days? So does that mean that we'll really have a new patriarch by the 15th?

Samn! said...

God willing, the decision will be made by Monday.