Youssef Absi

Youssef Absi, S.M.S.P.[1] (Arabic: يوسف عبسي‎; Latin: Iosephus Absi; born June 20, 1946, in Damascus, Syria) is the current patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church since June 21, 2017.[2][3]

Youssef Absi

Melkite Greek Patriarch of Antioch
BISHOP patriarc youssef absi june 7th 2018.JPG
Pictured in June 2018
Native name
يوسف عبسي
ChurchMelkite Greek Catholic Church
ElectedJune 21, 2017
PredecessorGregory III Laham
OrdinationMay 6, 1973
by Maximos V Hakim
ConsecrationSeptember 2, 2001
by Gregory III Laham
Personal details
Birth nameYoussef Absi
Born (1946-06-20) June 20, 1946 (age 74)
Damascus, Syria
DenominationMelkite Greek Catholic Church
Previous post
  • Curial Bishop (2001–2007)
  • Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Damascus (2007–2017)
Alma materSt. Paul Seminary, Harissa; Lebanese University; Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
Coat of armsYoussef Absi's coat of arms

Ecclesiastical careerEdit

On May 6, 1973, Youssef Absi was ordained a priest and became chaplain of the Missionary Society of St. Paul (Italian: Società dei Missionari di San Paolo; abbreviated as S.M.S.P.), a Melkite Greek Society of Apostolic Life that is also known as the Pères Paulistes.[1] After the conclusion of philosophical and theological studies at the Major Seminary of St. Paul in Harissa, Lebanon, he obtained a licentiate in philosophy at the Lebanese University, a licentiate in theology at the Institute of St. Paul in Harissa, and a doctorate in musical science and hymnography at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik.[4]

On June 22, 2001, he was appointed titular archbishop of Tarsus dei Greco-Melkiti and curial bishop and auxiliary bishop in the Melkite Patriarchate. Patriarch Gregory III Laham was his consecrator, and the co-consecrators were Archbishop Jean Mansour, titular archbishop of Apamea in Syria dei Greco-Melkiti, and Archbishop Joseph Kallas, Archeparch of Beirut and Byblos, on September 2, 2001.[5]

From 1999 to 2006, he was Superior General of his religious community, the Missionary Society of St. Paul. He assisted as co-consecrator at the episcopal ordination of Yasser Ayyash, Archbishop of Petra and Philadelphia in Jordan. In October 2007, he was appointed patriarchal vicar for the archdiocese of Damascus.

He was elected on June 21, 2017, as the patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. His election came a month after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Gregory III Laham.[2]

Other activitiesEdit

In 2001, he became president of the Syrian Caritas (Commission Commune de Bienfaisance (CCB))[6] and forwards with three full-time members more than 40 projects in Damascus, Aleppo and Hassake. He composed for the singer Marie Keyrouz "L'Ensemble de la Paix", a hymn that was released on the album Cantiques de l'Orient.[7]

On the Middle EastEdit

As a participant in the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Middle East in October 2010, he gave an address in which he insisted that: "The Episcopal Conferences of each country should meet from time to time together. You should allow bi-ritualism, so that no parish remains without divine liturgy, no matter what church it belongs to."[8]



  1. ^ a b Società dei Missionari di San Paolo – Missionary Society of St. Paul (Melkite Greek); see
  2. ^ a b "Joseph Absi elected patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church". The Daily Star (Lebanon). Retrieved 21 June 2017.
  3. ^ Melkite Catholic Church elects new patriarch
  4. ^ Sala Stampa della Santa Sede - Bollettino 14.07.2001
  5. ^ Bishop Joseph Absi Elected Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Quote translated from German.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Lutfy Laham
Titular Archbishop of Tarsus
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Gregory III Laham
Melkite Greek Patriarch of Antioch
Succeeded by