With a strong hope in the Resurrection of our Savior, the Diocese offers condolences to our brothers and sisters in the Antiochian Orthodox Church for the departure of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All America.
Upon hearing the news, His Grace Bishop Serapion immediately offered condolences to Archbishop Joseph of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.
The Antiochian Orthodox Church is one of two Orthodox churches in Syria. It is part of the Eastern Orthodox family whereas the Syrian Orthodox Church is part of the Oriental Orthodox family along with the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Metropolitan Philip shepherded the Antiochian Orthodox faithful in America for 48 years, and as such, had a great influence in the life of Orthodox faithful in America. He is remembered especially for his role in bringing about the conversion of over 2,000 Evangelical Christians into the Orthodox Church.
In his 2012 statement on the departure of the Thrice-Blessed Pope Shenouda III, His Eminence wrote,
His passing on to eternal life is an enormous loss not only for the Coptic Church, but also for the Church as a whole, especially since he believed in dialogue and held relentless and unwavering positions with regard to sensitive issues.
Today, the same sentiment holds true for him. May his memory be eternal, and may his soul repose in the Paradise of Joy.