Tony Burke, Member for Watson, will today represent the Australian Government at the Episcopal ordination of Father Antoine Tarabay as the fourth Maronite Bishop of Australia in Beirut, Lebanon.
This is the first time that an Australian Government has sent an official representative to the ordination of the Maronite Bishop of Australia.
Rev. Fr. Antoine Tarabay, LMO, has been serving as the Rector of St. Charbel’s Monastery Church and College in Punchbowl, Sydney.
“I am honoured to be able to represent my community at the ordination of Father Tarabay,” Mr Burke said.
“It is a tribute to the Maronite Order of Australia that the new bishop has been chosen from among the Australian clergy.
“Father Tarabay is a symbol of unity in the local area where I have always lived.
“He is a leader and a friend.”
To put this celebration above politics the Prime Minister has also asked the Leader of the Opposition to send a representative to join Mr Burke in Lebanon. The Opposition will be represented by Mr Scott Morrison MP. While in Lebanon Mr Burke will also visit a number of villages and meet with the different faith communities within Lebanon.
The ceremony will be held on Saturday, 25 May 2013 at the Patriarchal See, Bkerke, Lebanon.