Patriarch Michael the Great
Aramean people: Aramean people (not to be confused with ‘Armenians’) speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Abraham, Moses and Jesus. They are the indigenous people of what was called in ancient times Aram- Nahrin, in our days it is called ‘Mesopotamia’.
Some Arameans today identify themselves with “Assyrians”, because of the spiritual colonial hate generating activities of the Western missionaries and diplomats in the Middle-East in 16th and 19th centuries. Other Arameans became known as “Chaldeans”. However all of them are Arameans.
In Turkey, the Arameans are called: Süryani. In Arabic they are called Al- Suryan.
Letter of Mgr. J.Y. Cicek to the Patriarch and all the bishops
To the general report of the committee bishops concerning the archdiocese of Central Europe.
Under the supervision of his highness mor Eustateus Matta Rohom, metropolitan of Tigris & Euphrates in Syria, the committee arrived in the city of Brussels on October 4-11 2004.
In agreement with the decision of the holy synod of the Syrian Orthodox Church in 2003, the committee bishops arrived on 4.10.2004 under the chairmanship of his highness mor Eustateus Matta Roho of Tigris & Euphrates together with mor Severius Melke Murad, the patriarch representative in Jerusalem and Jordan and secretary of Patriarch mor Athanasius Elio Bahe to the diocese of Central Europe. During a week, the three high respected bishops met with the spiritual leaders and church councils of the archdiocese and started their work in the city of Brussels, after that they arrived in Switzerland and Vienna (Austria) and ended their mission in Holland which is the centre of the Archdiocese.
Before the beginning of January 2004 I was (for a special reason) present in the patriarchal residence under the supervision of our patriarch to talk with the members of the committee bishops and to make them aware of the known mistakes made by them when they visited the archdiocese. As I was looking forward and waiting, on the 9th of the month the chairman of the committee bishops mor Eustateus Matta Rohom handed over to me the report, in Arabic, of their research and visit to the diocese of Central Europe in the Patriarchal residence Mor Afrem in the presence of His Holiness the Patriarch. Immediately after receiving their report, I asked him in presence of His Holiness the Patriarch to talk with him and his friends about their inappropriate behavior which they demonstrated when they visited the archdiocese and to defend myself and to give a deserved reply to their report: However they immediately left and didn’t want to talk about it. After I left Damascus, I was informed that His Holiness Patriarch summoned the heads of the archdioceses of the Syrian Orthodox Church, the high respected bishops, to Damascus to talk about the report of the members of the committee bishops concerning fragmentation of the pure/faithful diocese of Central Europe in Belgium/France and Switzerland/Austria and to hear their views: When I heard about this, I immediately sent a letter to His Holiness Patriarch and a copy to the respected bishops, the heads of the archdioceses, before they would reply to the Patriarch, I wanted to cancel the issue concerning the fragmentation of the archdiocese of central Europe until the next meeting of the Holy Synod in agreement with the ecclesiastical laws. At this moment it is necessary to criticize the actions of members of the committee bishops which are illegitimate and about their bad ideas/vision, in particular their wishes concerning fragmentation of the diocese Central Europe and they don’t care about the St. Aphrem monastery whether the churches in Holland would be able to maintain it. What is going on in the minds of some of high respected bishops to fragmentize the dioceses of the West? There are never problems within the archdioceses of Lebanon and Syria? Why should the archdiocese of Europe be fragmentized and not those of Syria and Lebanon? For this reason I want in short as an answer to the attack provide the high respected bishops, the heads of dioceses, with reliable information concerning the situation of the diocese of Central Europe:
1. The committee bishops arrived in the city of Brussels: Immediately the chair of the committee bishops, his highness Eustateus Matta Rohom, wanted to talk in the church of Brussels about the legal reason of their mission and his highness explained first the audiences about the mission: Because of considerable increase of faithful in this diocese: and also because his highness the bishop of the diocese is getting old, it important for him to take some rest: And because we see as necessity that something should change in these times. We came to talk with the clergy and church councils and various organizations and with everybody who want talk with us concerning this matter in confidence.
Answer: The statements as they have been made by the committee bishops are well-known by the faithful: The first main goal of the coming of this group bishops was to fragmentize the diocese and surely didn’t contribute to the peace in the diocese, but make a general research regarding the situation of the diocese and to learn people who cause problems (and chaos) like for example mr. Gevriye Kaplan in the city of Brussels; who since long times without permission of church councils and clergy spreads information in a sneaky, unfair and cruel way about Belgium and he is no member of our churches in Belgium; and works secretly together with His Highness Atanasius Elio Bahe, the secretary of the Patriarch and monk Hazael and bishop Avgin Kaplan to separate Belgium from the archdiocese.
2. Before the official meetings of the committee of bishops would start with clergy and church councils: they (bishops) asked me not to participate in the meetings when they would came together organizations of the archdiocese. With all devotion/faithful possible I complied with the wishes: Later I understood that they had bad intentions with that.
The committee bishops did not have got the task from the Holy Synod that I should not participate the meetings: Because of this reason, it was not necessary to talk with the faithful discretely about everything. It is against the law that they refused the head of the archdiocese to participate in their meetings they held with clergy and church councils to talk and write about the general situation of the diocese. As it was illegitimate to sit down on the table and talk with the people who were no members of church councils and had no relation with church councils and organizations of the archdiocese and in particular with (malicious) people who cause problems/commotions and have no relation with the church and subsequently accepting and swallowing their ideas (because it fits in their line) aiming the law (of the church) to fragmentize the diocese. For example in Vienna where archpriest Emmanue Aydin who had drummed up people who had no relation with the church councils and the board of the churches.
3. The committee bishops have recorded on cassette tapes of the secretary of Patriarch all the talks they had with the clergy and church councils of the diocese. But not all the talks of the clergy and members of the church councils who have spoken were written on paper; only those who they wished to hear and which could contribute to the disruption of the archdiocese were written on paper and sent to the heads of the dioceses.
Answer: The members of the committee bishops have clearly demonstrated their own unfairness against this faithful diocese and in particular when I was in Syria to talk with them under the supervision of His Holiness the patriarch and in the presence of His Holiness I wanted to show them their mistakes which they had made within the diocese; however they were to pride and didn’t want to talk.
4. In Belgium, Switzerland, France and Vienna there are 12 priests who serve the children of the archdiocese. Of these 12 priests only three of them want to fragmentize the diocese. Two in Switzerland and one in Vienna who a while ago officially was punished in the presence of his church council because of 17 mistakes and uncivilized behavior in a business issue.
According the new laws of the Syrian Orthodox Church (article 61), when the clergy misbehaves, he gets punished: his testimony officially is not accepted against the head of the diocese.
Answer and critics in particular to the ideas/views of the committee bishops.
A. In the first cassette tape the committee bishops divides the view of the people in two groups. The first group testifies that youngsters (boys & girls) have tuned their back to the church; there is lack of spiritual base and there are problems between the clergy within the archdiocese: The weak management of the head of diocese can be blamed for this and in particular he is the one who spreads discord in the diocese. The second group who is a minority: testifies of His Highness, the head of diocese, as somebody who worked very hard for the wellbeing of this new diocese and have published thousands cultural books; his diligence for building churches and monasteries; consecration of clergy and monks; appointing various deacons; consecrating of many churches; and providing help to the Syrian Orthodox dioceses which in need.
Answer: The reader gets amazed of one thinks about the weak vision of the committee bishops: How did they manage to hear thousands members of the archdiocese and within very short time dividing the people into two groups: One group complains and the other one is very positive about the work of the head of the diocese. If the head of the diocese is weak in practicing his task: how then he was able to build 43 churches and monasteries in Europe published thousands of books and contributed for a great part to the two patriarchal spiritual residences and the Syrian church in India at the beginning of their construction; whom of the bishops has been much more success full in setting up such big projects in a new diocese and accomplished them?
B. The committee bishops claim in tape 3: That they did not encounter good and diligent organizations and also did not encounter organizations who work together. As a example, they mention Switzerland and say that the Syrian people are not able attain their own churches.
Answer: The situation of the organizations, institutions of the diocese: The committee bishops did not made research in consultation with the head of diocese; but have relayed completely (and with pleasure) on (bad) visions of people who have no idea what is going on within the archdiocese. Which Syrian diocese has organizations and intuitions to contribute to the progress on the field of culture and fait as the diocese of Central Europe? In which diocese is the ecclesiastical base established for collecting the necessary costs by the members of the diocese to support the priests and the keep institutions going on in a simple way? Within the boundaries of the diocese, each church council has officially its statute in the country or city where the Syrian Church resides. Because the faithful in Switzerland are spread all over the country – they live far away from each other- they were not able to build up their own churches such as in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. They ,,forget” to mention the purchase of the monastery in Switzerland and a other institution which was bought fife years ago to build churches, schools saloons. The greatest diocese in Syria is the diocese of Bishop Matta Roho as regards the number of faithful; who paid the necessary expenses for this diocese? Was that his own diocese or the sister dioceses, churches and organizations from Europe and United States? How much financial support did his highness (Matta Rohom) receive from the institutions of Netherlands? What did his highness do with the 50 million Syrian Pounds which he received, as it was confirmed by the faithful there, from the faithful of his diocese?
C: In the fourth tape the committee bishops shows us that the three monks, that is to say Monk Musee, Monk Isa and Monk Stefanus should be separated from each other and their case should be brought to the patriarch who will take care for it.
Answer: The committee bishops did not tell anything about the truth concerning the great evilness which was brought about by these monks by publishing dirty articles about the life in the monastery of Mor Yahkub of Saroeg in Germany when they where there as students and about the life in the monastery St. Afrem in the Netherlands in Aramaic and German and spread out in a evil way by internet and in the Netherlands they have in a treasonous/dirty way caused big problems. What is the reason that they came back from Jerusalem?
C: In the fifth cassette tape of their report, the committee bishops shows us that there are people who lie about the administration of the diocese: and at the same time they show that the head of the diocese, clergy and church councils cannot shut up the mouth of these liars.
Answer: This statement is absolutely not true. There are various magazines published in Europe and Sweden. It is necessary that the committee clearly have to show us which of the magazine within the archdiocese have published lies about the (spiritual) fathers of the Syrian Orthodox Church. << In the Gods Word we are told: do make false testimony>>
D: In the sixth tape of their report the committee bishops shows us how one should look for solution of the money problem of the St. Afrem monastery in the Netherlands.
Answer: It is amazing that the committee bishops nothing says about the reason this debt of the St. Aphrem monastery. They know the reason very well, however they deliberately remain silent to mention His Highness bishop Evgin Kaplan; because he is a friend of his highness bishop Athanasius Elio Bahe. He is the owner of this debts, when he in 2002, in the framework of his economical project got millions of dollars from rich Americans and from Sweden, Germany and arrived as last in Netherlands and asked few faithful financial support to finish his secret project. In this way he managed to get support from the faithful with St. Aphrem monastery acting as guarantor. Already 30 months has past and his Highness didn’t pay a cent back and has in this way lost the trust of the faithful and about 40 families he made them troubles and above all this things he is trumpeting in the city of Los Angeles and his conscience does not complain against him to leave the diocese and has brought the Syrian Orthodox church in big troubles and affected her dignity in the West as Well as in the east.
D: The committee bishops shows us in the seventh cassette tape that the head of diocese made him selves guilty of illegitimate actions within the diocese such as punishment of archpriest Emanuel Aydin and Abdelmasih Gunel and has consecrated a clergy in Switzerland without Patriarchal approval.
Answer: The head of diocese caries out his task in agreement with ecclesiastical laws of the Syrian Church and with vested authority within the diocese. Those who earn ecclesiastical punishment, will as consequence get punished. Two months before the consecration of a priest in Switzerland, the head of diocese asked by letter the permission of His Holiness patriarch: However they say that the letter didn’t arrive at the patriarchate. Normally it was usual that a month after the (decision) of the Holy Synod, the committee bishops would visit the diocese and not a year later. How can the head of diocese tolerate the cruelty and shamelessness of clergyman as priest Kerim Asmar of Switzerland, who during one year spread letters full of lies among the faithful under the name of the Patriarch or archpriest Emanuel Aydin who until now is unknown of his faith, whether Catholic or Protestant and all his work is done under influence of having greedy for money and don’t care about the church leaders. Bishop Evgin Kaplan is one of the members of Holy Synod and is obliged to the laws and statute of the Synod. He performed a heavy punishment on monk Abgar: in these times, he has excommunicated 20 families. He had consecrated a clergyman (priest). All this issues carried out are illegitimate; while he was not punished. Where does come from the discrimination inside the Syrian Orthodox Church: one person is clearly done wrong, while the other person who deserves punishment nothing had been done to him?
E: The eighth cassette tape of the report of the committee bishops explains: for the benefit of spiritual and cultural future and expansion of this diocese and for the peace between alle groups and unity of the diocese, it would be good – because of the number of faithful- to separate Belgium/France with Brussels as centre. And Switzerland and Vienna with St. Avgin monastery as centre.
Answer: This view of the committee bishops demonstrates clearly that their main goal during their visit to the diocese was: to fragmentize diocese of Central Europe. It is known that a other committee, consisted out of three high respected bishops, under leadership of Mor Theofilius George Saliab, was established to make research and look at the problems in the diocese Germany in the month August 2004. Everybody who wants to understand discrimination of matters, making research, visiting and hardworking of both bishops committees or read the report of examination of both committees: shall see very clearly the unfairness of both committees concerning the general matters as regards the both dioceses: On this way, the reader gets astonished of the great negligence by the fathers (bishops) of the Syrian Church in these times, with respect to the ecclesiastical laws; in particular the committee bishops who visited Europe and caused a big discord between the clergymen and church councils (and have shaken everything up); that is also the reason that they refused financial support from the church councils for their accommodation expenses and tickets during their stay in the archdiocese.
St. Aphrem the Syrian Monastery
Julius Yeshu Cicek
Metropolitan of the Syrian orthodox of Central Europe.
A copy ( will be sent to):
High respected Patriarchate
High respected bishops, the heads of the Syrian dioceses.
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