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New Melkite Bishops

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Melkite Bishop Nicholas J. Samra to head the Melkite Catholic Eparchy of Newton, Mass. The appointment was announced at the Vatican 15 June. Bishop Samara will return to the eparchy where he had served as an auxiliary bishop until 2005. He is pictured at a prayer service in Washington in 2005.  (photo: CNS/Paul Haring) 

16 Jun 2011 – by Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican announced approval of two new Melkite Catholic archbishops who had been elected by the Greek Melkite Synod of Bishops.

Lebanese-born Archbishop Cyrille Bustros, 72, was confirmed as the new Melkite archbishop of Beirut and Jbeil, vacant for 13 months. Since 2004, he has headed the Eparchy of Newton, Mass.

Syrian-born Bishop Issam Darwich, 66, who has headed the Eparchy of St. Michael’s of Sydney, Australia, since 1996, was confirmed as the new archbishop of Zahleh and Furzol in Lebanon.

U.S.–born Bishop Nicholas Samra, 66, who retired as an auxiliary of Newton in 2005, has been named bishop of Newton. Since his retirement, he has lived in Warren, Mich., and has, among other things, led retreats and conferences and done research.

Father Robert Rabbat, 51, rector of the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Newton, has been named bishop of St. Michael’s of Sydney. The Lebanese-born priest has a degree in chemical engineering and mathematics from Ohio State University and a master’s in communication from Purdue University. He was ordained a priest in Beirut in 1994 and has served at parishes in Indiana and Illinois as well as editor of Sophia magazine.

He was named an archimandrite in 2005 and began serving as cathedral rector in Newton.

Tags: Lebanon Middle East Christians United States Melkite Greek Catholic Church