Melchites or MELERITES (from מֶלֶך, a king), i.e. Royalists, is the name given tothose Syriac, Egyptian, and other Christians of the Levant, who acknowledge the authority of the pope and the doctrines of the Church of Rome. Excepting some few points of little or no importance, which relate only to ceremonies and ecclesiastical discipline, the Melchites are in every respect professed Greeks; but they are governed by a particular patriarch, who assumes the title of Patriarch of Antioch. Their origin is referred to the labors of the Jesuits in the 17th century, and the name of Melchites was given to them because they agreed with the Greeks who submitted to the Council of Chalcedon, and was designed by their enemies to brand them with the reproach of having done so merely in conformity to the religion of the emperor. They celebrate mass in the Arabic language, use unleavened bread in the Eucharist, and their priests (not their bishops) are allowed to marry. They have also some monastic establishments, whose inmates follow the rule of St. Basil, the common rule of all the Greek monks. See Farrar, Ecclesiastes Dict.; Eadie, Ecclesiastes Cyclop.; Neale, Hist. East. Church, ch. 2:7; Neander, Church Hist. 3:176.

Bible concordance for MELCHI.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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