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Archeparchy of Forzol and zahle (Melkite Greek)
Mariamnensis Graecorum Melkitarum
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2012)|
|Denomination||Melkite Greek Catholic Church|
|Cathedral||Our Lady of Liberation Cathedral|
|Archeparch||Issam John Darwich|
Melkite Greek Catholic Archeparchy of Zahle and Forzol (in Latin: Mariamnensis Graecorum Melkitarum) is a diocese of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. In 2012 there were 150,000 baptized. It is currently governed by Archeparch Issam John Darwich, BS.
Territory and statistics
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The archeparchy includes most of the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. Its archeparchial seat is the city of Zahleh, where is located the Cathedral of Our Lady of Deliverance, built in the 18th-century. The territory is divided into 39 parishes and there were 150,000 Melkite Catholics in 2012.
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The Archeparchy of Zahle and Forzol is a Greco-Melchite archeparchy in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon and has its origins in the 5th century. In the seventeenth, or perhaps in the 16th century, the diocese of Seleucia Pieria was for greater safety transferred by the Patriarch of Antioch to Maaloula in the Lebanon. The reason of this transfer was forgotten at a later date, and a town of "Seleucia Libani" was invented and identified with Maaloula, though such a town never existed.
When the see was transferred from Maaloula to Forzol, the title of Seleucia accompanied it. The Archeparchy of Zahle and Forzol has been in communion with Rome since 1724, when the bishop Efthymios Fadel Maalouly proclaimed its union with the Holy See, thus “leaving the fold” of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. In 1727, the headquarters was moved to Zahle, which became the capital of the region of the Bekaa, but it was only a nominal measure.[clarification needed] The transfer had already taken place in 1760, for the Catholic titular Euthymius Fadel of Malouli then signed as Bishop of Forzol and Beqaa. In 1774, the headquarters of the eparchy was moved permanently to Zahleh.
In October 1790, a Catholic bishop of Zahlé assisted at a council held in the Convent of Saint-Sauveur. The Diocese of Zahle is identical with that of Forzol, under which name it often appears. Since the 1849 Council of Jerusalem, the bishop bears the titles of Forzol, Zahle, and Beqaa. Since 1768 his residence has been at Zahle.
In the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch the bishop always bears the title of Seleucia. Zahle itself dates only from the end of the seventeenth century, when Catholics fled thither in great numbers, the locality being under the protection of the emirs of Lebanese, by whom they were protected from Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and from the Muslims.
Gradually the place grew larger; as of 1913 it was a city of about 20,000 inhabitants, nearly all Melkite Greek Catholics. In 1860 the Druzes destroyed 2000 houses, and several Christians were massacred, among them four Jesuits. There are to-day a Jesuit residence and a school, similarly a residence and a school in the Molallaqa quarter.
The diocese comprises 30,000 Catholics, forty seven priests, thirty three churches and chapels, nine primary schools, three convents of Salavatorians, Alepins, and of Chouerites, with forty three religious.
- Efthymios Fadel Maalouly (October 1, 1724 - 1775; resigned)
- Youssef Farhat (1775 - 1793)
- Basile Jabaly (1796 - 1811)
- Macarius IV Tawil, BS (1811 - December 10, 1813; elected Melkite Patriarch of Antioch)
- Ignace Ajoury (1816 - 1834)
- Basile Schajat (Shahiat), BS (October 15, 1834 - 1864)
- Ambroise Abdo (November 15, 1866 - 1875; resigned and appointed Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem)
- Meletios Fakak (consecrated January 23, 1876 - August 16, 1881 appointed archeparch of Beirut and Byblos)
- Ignace Malluk (Malouk) (September 18, 1881 - 1898)
- Cyril IX Moghabghab (April 23, 1899 - June 21, 1926; confirmed Melkite Patriarch of Antioch)
- Eftimios Youakim (October 30, 1926 - August 21, 1971; withdrawn)
- Jean Bassoul (August 21, 1971 - August 9, 1977; deceased)
- Augustin Farah (August 25, 1977 - March 31, 1983; deceased)
- André Haddad, BS (June 14, 1983 - June 15, 2011; resigned)
- Issam John Darwich, BS (June 15, 2011 – present)
- "Archeparchy of Zahleh–Furzol, Lebanon (Greek-Melkite Rite)".
- Cheney, David M. "Zahleh e Furzol (Archeparchy) [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org.
- Échos d'Orient, V, p. 86
- Échos d'Orient, X, 227.
- "Melkite :: Melkites". www.pgc-lb.org.
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. .
- "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Zahle and Forzol". www.newadvent.org.
- "مطرانية زحلة للروم الملكيين الكاثوليك". www.catholiczahle.org. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-02-28.