• Moran Mor Ignatius Joseph III Yonan
  • ܐܓܢܛܝܘܣ ܝܘܣܦ ܬܠܝܬܝܐ ܝܘܢܢ
Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syrians
Ignacio José III Younan 2015 (cropped).jpg
ChurchSyriac Catholic Church
Elected20 January 2009
Installed15 February 2009
PredecessorIgnatius Peter VIII Abdalahad
Other postsBishop of Beirut
Ordination12 September 1971
Consecration7 January 1996
by Antony II Hayyek
Personal details
Birth nameEphrem Joseph Yonan
Born (1944-11-15) 15 November 1944 (age 75)
Hassaké, Syria
DenominationCatholic Church
Previous postBishop of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark (1995–2009)

Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Yonan (or Younan, Syriac: ܐܓܢܛܝܘܣ ܝܘܣܦ ܬܠܝܬܝܐ ܝܘܢܢ‎, born November 15, 1944) is the Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch and all the East of the Syriacs for the Syriac Catholic Church since his election on January 20, 2009.[1]


Ephrem Joseph Yonan was born at Hassaké, Syria, on November 15, 1944, and was ordained a priest on September 12, 1971. He served as director of the Seminary of Charfet for two years, as Director of Catechesis of the diocese of Hassaké for seven years and as pastor of the Church of the Annunciation in Beirut up to 1986.

In 1986 he was sent to the United States to establish missions for the Syrian Catholic faithful. He founded a mission in Newark, New Jersey (Our Lady of Deliverance) and others in North Hollywood (Sacred Heart) in 1991 and in San Diego (Our Mother of Perpetual Help) in 1994.

On November 6, 1995, Pope John Paul II erected the Syrian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance in Newark for all the Syrian Catholics of the United States and Canada,[2] and appointed Ephrem Joseph Yonan as first eparch (bishop).[3] He was thus consecrated bishop on January 7, 1996, by Ignatius Antony II Hayyek and served in the United States until his election as Primate and Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church on January 20, 2009. Pope Benedict XVI granted him ecclesiastical communion on January 22, 2009,[4] in accordance with Canon 76 § 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Along with Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Yonan served as a co-president of the October 2010 Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East in the Vatican.


The patriarch has visited members of his flock in various areas of the diaspora, including Australia and the United States.[5]

Work in the Church

Yonan has been very active in the request for the beatification for Flavianus Michael Malke, who was beatified in 2015.[6]

Criticism of the West

He has continuously called on Western countries to not support insurgents in Syria "just to make the regime of Assad fall" and to find another way to resolve the conflict.[7] He has also condemned them for not caring enough about Middle Eastern Christians.[8][9]


See also


  1. ^ "Interview with Patriarch Yonan". Real Catholic TV. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
  2. ^ "Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark (Syrian)". catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  3. ^ Sharon Bernstein (November 19, 1995). "Valley Priest to Be Bishop of New Diocese". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
  4. ^ "Pontiff Urges Syriac Leader to Remember Diaspora". ZENIT News Agency. January 23, 2009. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2009.
  5. ^ "Patriarchal Visit in the USA and Canada". Syriac Catholic Patriarchate.
  6. ^ "Syriac Catholic Church investigation concludes in a report for the Bishop Mar Flapejanos Mikhail Malki to be beatified". Syriac Catholic Patriarchate.
  7. ^ Video on YouTube
  8. ^ http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/article.php?classID=1&subclassID=84&articleID=10628&class=&subclass=Breaking%20News[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/article.php?classID=3&subclassID=9&articleID=11700&class=Features&subclass=A%20conversation%20with

External links

Media related to Ignatius Joseph III Younan at Wikimedia Commons

  • "Archbishop Ignace Joseph III (Ephrem) Younan". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  • [1] (German)


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Ignatius Peter VIII Abdalahad
Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrian Catholic Church
20 January 2009 –
Succeeded by
Preceded by
New Eparchy
Eparch of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark
Succeeded by
Bishop Joseph (Youssif) Habash