Bishop François Beyrouti of the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton, USA Bishop François Beyrouti of the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton, USA 

Melkite Catholic Bishop says visit to Rome a 'celebration of Apostolic Faith'

Newly-consecrated Bishop François Beyrouti, the head of the Melkite Greek Eparchy of Newton, USA, talks with Vatican News about the Eastern Catholic Churches and about his own particular Church in the United States.

By Christopher Wells

With more than 1.5 million faithful, the Melkite Greek Catholic Church is one of the largest Eastern Churches in union with Rome. The Melkite Church traces its roots back to the ancient See of Antioch, where the followers of Christ were first called Christians.

“We’re proud to say that we sent Peter over to Rome,” says Bishop François Beyrouti, the newly-consecrated bishop of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, USA, referring to the tradition that St Peter was Bishop of Antioch for seven years before going to the Eternal City.

Bishop Beyrouti was speaking in an interview with Vatican News during his own visit to Rome earlier this month, where he met with Pope Francis.

He described the shared Petrine foundation as “a great witness to the ties between the city of Rome and the city of Antioch, but also a celebration of our Apostolic Faith that, although started in Jerusalem, Antioch, and Rome [is] now spread throughout the entire world, which is kind of our mission in the United States,” serving the “new world.”

Bishop Beyrouti visits the studios of Vatican Radio
Bishop Beyrouti visits the studios of Vatican Radio

Audience with Pope Francis

Bishop Beyrouti’s Eparchy of Newton covers the whole of the United States, with about fifty parishes, missions, and “outreaches” in about two dozen states. “In fact,” the Bishop says, “the Melkite Greek Catholic Church is one of the larger eastern Catholic Churches in the United States. However, the number of faithful is relatively small and certainly compared with the much, much larger Latin Church in the United States.”

During his visit with the Holy Father, Bishop Beyrouti gave Pope Francis a letter expressing gratitude for his service to the universal Church, and sharing some details about the Melkite Catholic Church in the United States.

The Bishop highlighted the liturgical publications put out by his Eparchy, which are in use not only in the Melkite community, but also by other Eastern Catholics, Latin Catholics, and Orthodox Christians.

He also emphasized “the important relationship between the Roman [Latin] Catholic Church and the Eastern Catholic Church,” while asking for the Holy Father’s prayers. The Pope, he said, “also asked us to pray for him, and we assured him that we’re praying for him as well, and he’s praying for us.”

Click below to listen to the full interview with Eparch François Beyrouti, Bishop of the Greek Melkite Eparchy of Newton:

Listen to the full interview


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15 May 2023, 13:02