The Melkite Greek Catholic Church is an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. It is headed by Patriarch Youssef Absi, S. M. S. P. Headquartered in Cathedral of Our Lady of the Dormition, Syria; the Melkites, Byzantine Rite Catholics, trace their history to the early Christians of Antioch part of Syria and now in Turkey, of the 1st century AD, where Christianity was introduced by Saint Peter. The Melkite Church is related to the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, it is centered in Syria, Jordan and Palestine. Melkite Greek Catholics are present, throughout the world by migration due to persecution. Outside the Near East, the Melkite Church has grown through intermarriage with, the conversion of, people of various ethnic heritages as well as transritualism. At present there is a worldwide membership of 1.6 million. While the Melkite Catholic Church's Byzantine rite liturgical traditions are shared with those of Eastern Orthodoxy, the Church has been part of the Catholic Church since the affirmation of its union with the Holy See of Rome in 1724.
Melkite, from the Syriac word malkā for "King" and the Arabic word Malakī, was a pejorative term for Middle Eastern Christians who accepted the authority of the Council of Chalcedon and the Byzantine Emperor, a term applied to them by non-Chalcedonians. Of the Chalcedonian churches, Greek Catholics continue to use the term, while Eastern Orthodox do not; the Greek element signifies the Byzantine Rite heritage of the church, the liturgy used by all the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The term Catholic acknowledges communion with the Church of Rome and implies participation in the universal Christian church. According to Church tradition, the Melkite Church of Antioch is the "oldest continuous Christian community in the world". In Arabic, the official language of the church, it is called ar-Rūm al-Kathūlīk; the Arabic word "Rūm" means Roman, from the Greek word "Romaioi" by which the Greek-speaking Eastern Romans had continued to identify themselves when the Roman empire had ceased to exist elsewhere.
The name means "Roman Catholic", confusingly for the modern English-speaker, but this does not refer to the Latin-speaking Western Catholic Church of Rome but rather to the Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodox "Byzantine" Roman heritage, the centre of gravity of, the city of "New Rome", i.e. Constantinople; the origins of the Melkite Catholic Church go back to the establishment of Christianity in the Near East. As Christianity began to spread, the disciples preached the Gospel throughout the region and were for the first time recorded to be called "Christians" in the city of Antioch, the historical See of the Melkite Catholic Patriarchate. Scholars attribute the actual writing of the gospels in Koine Greek to the Hellenized Christian population of Antioch, with authors such as St. Luke and others. By the 2nd century, Christianity was widespread throughout Syria. Growth of the church did not stop during periods of persecution, by the end of the 4th century Christianity became the official state religion.
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church traces its origins to the Christian communities of the Levant and Egypt. The church's leadership was vested in the three Apostolic Patriarchates of the ancient patriarchates: Alexandria and Jerusalem; the church's history and relation to other churches may be summarised in four defining moments. The first defining moment was the socio-political fallout in the wake of the Fourth Ecumenical Council, the Council of Chalcedon, which took place in AD 451. Fifth-century Middle-Eastern Christian society became divided between those who did and those who did not accept the outcome of the council; those who accepted the decrees of the council, the Chalcedonians, were Greek-speaking city-dwellers, were called Melkites by the anti-Chalcedonians. These latter were predominantly Coptic-speaking provincials; the second defining moment is more a period of change. The Battle of Yarmuk took the Melkite homeland out of Byzantine control and placed it under the occupation of the Arab invaders.
Whereas the Greek language and culture remained important for the Melkites of Jerusalem, Antiochene Melkite tradition merged with the Arabic language and culture. Indeed, there was Arabic Christian poetry before the arrival of Islam, but the Antiochene blending with Arabic culture led to a degree of distancing from the Patriarch of Constantinople. Despite the Arab invasion, the Melkites continued to exercise an important role in the Universal Church; the Melkites played a leading role in condemning the iconoclast controversy when it re-appeared in the early 9th century, were among the first of the Eastern churches to respond to the introduction of the filioque clause in the West. The third defining moment were the Councils of Reunion in which that part of the Church of Antioch which had elected Cyril VI in 1724 was recognized as the legitimate Patriarch by the Pope in 1729. In 1054, Patriarch Michael I Cerularius and Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida excommunicated each other thus formalizing a schism, developing for many years.
The Melkite Patriarch Peter III of Antioch rejected the quarrel of the Pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople meaning that the See of Antioch was in union with both for several decades past 1054. In 1965, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I "consigned these excommunications to oblivion" (at
Grigoris Bithikotsis was a popular Greek folk singer/songwriter with a career spanning five decades. Bithikotsis was born in Athens, in 1922 to a poor family, he became interested in music at an early age, acquired a bouzouki as soon as he was able. At first, he had to hide the instrument at a friend's house and practice in secret, as his father disapproved of the new rembetiko style that had captured his son's interest, he met composer Mikis Theodorakis in 1959 and the two collaborated producing folk songs. Bithikotsis composed including: Stu Belami to ouzeri and Tou Votanikou o magas, he possessed a rich singing voice with which he performed his own compositions and those of Theodorakis, who chose his friend Grigoris to perform his masterpieces. The two contributed to the then-emerging laika style of Greek music. A leftist, he was exiled to the island of Makronisos in the 1950s during the reign of King Paul. Throughout his life, Bithikotsis performed frequent concerts at numerous venues, including one in Athens upon the occasion of his eightieth birthday.
He died in 2005, following three months of hospitalization. His funeral was attended by thousands, including representatives of all the Greek political parties. Epitafios Politeia A To tragoudi tou nekrou aderfou Epifania To Axion Esti Politeia B Romiosini 14 Hryses Epityhies N1 14 Hryses Epityhies N2 1950-1962 Compilation 1963-1971 Compilation 36 Hronia Apo tis 45 Strofes No. 4 Alpha – Omega Chamenes Agapes I Ellada tou Grigori Episimi Agapimeni Gia panta No. 1 Gia ton Grigori – I Synavlia to Stadio Erininis kai Filias Mazi Mazi me ton Grigori Megaloprepeia Mia gynaika fevgei Oktovriou 1978/October 1978 - with Mikis Theodorakis O Agnostos Theos Oi Magalyteres Epityhies Tou Ouranio Toxo Prasino fos Sti Megali Leoforo Stratos Dionysiou/Ta zebekika tou Grigori kai tou Stratou Ta Afthentika No.2 Apo tous thisayrous ton 45 Strofon Tragoudia apo tis 45 Srtrofes Obituary in Kathimerini Se toyto to steno Enas alitis pethane
Gary Douglas McRobb is a Canadian politician, who represented the rural Yukon electoral district of Kluane in the Yukon Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 2011. McRobb entered public life to protect Aishihik Lake from further hydroelectric projects, he was elected as a member of the incoming New Democrat government of Piers McDonald in the 1996 Yukon election. Though McRobb was not appointed to Cabinet, he was appointed Cabinet Commissioner for Energy and Resources in the McDonald administration, he served as Deputy Speaker of the Yukon Legislative Assembly. McRobb was re-elected as a member of the New Democrats in the 2000 and 2002 Yukon elections, served as Opposition House Leader and New Democrat caucus critic for Tourism, Energy and Resources, Transportation and Communications, the Yukon Development Corporation, the Yukon Energy Corporation. In 2006, McRobb was expelled from the New Democrat caucus by then-leader Todd Hardy when it was discovered that McRobb and his colleague, Mayo-Tatchun MLA Eric Fairclough, had been publicly consulting constituents about considering quitting the New Democrats for the Liberals due to Hardy's isolated decision-making and a lack of faith in his leadership.
McRobb and Fairclough soon moved to the Liberal caucus, reducing Hardy's New Democrats to third party status and elevating the Yukon Liberal Party to Official Opposition. The move prompted the New Democrats to table legislation preventing MLAs from crossing the floor without an ensuing election, but the legislation was never adopted. McRobb and Fairclough were elected comfortably as Liberals in the 2006 election that same year and the Liberals retained their Official Opposition status. Hardy's New Democrats remained the third party. During the 32nd Assembly, McRobb served as the Opposition House Leader, as well as the Liberal critic for Energy and Resources, Highways and Public Works, the Yukon Energy Corporation and the Yukon Development Corporation; as energy critic, he was outspoken against the governing Yukon Party's secretive efforts to privatize Yukon Energy in a sale to ATCO Electric. During his tenure in office, McRobb had developed a reputation of a political attack dog, who the media noted would "occasionally... over-reach, with accusations never quite substantiated in fact."McRobb announced his decision to retire from politics prior to the 2011 election, citing that he had served enough time in elected office