St. Maron and St. John Maron are not the same person.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š St. Maron was an abbot and priest andÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š organized the Chalcedonian Syriacs in the mountains of Lebanon, he was never a patriarch but is looked upon as the proto-founder of the Maronites.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š He undoubtedly used the Syriac Rite.
After the martyrdom of the Chalcedonian Patriarch of Antioch and the failure of the Chruch to send a resident replacement, which settled instead to name a bishop to the post but kept him at the court in Constantinople the Maronite bishops elected St. John Maron as the first Maronite Patriarch of Antioch.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š At this point while holding fast to Chalcedon, love for the Byzantines had wained especially after a Byzantine attack on one of their Monasteries.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š St. John Maron led a military force that routed the Byzantine force sent to capture him and they were left alone by the Byzantines after that.
When the crusaders arrived, they were welcomed as fellow Christians by the Maronites and the Maronite army fought along side them, as did the Armenians.
So while contact with Rome was non-existent for many years, when contact was resumed the Maronites unequivocally recognized the primacy of the Roman Church. They never felt themselves as having broken communion with Rome for they were faithful to Chalcedon and were never involved in the disputes between Rome and Constantinople.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š However, some of the Latin bishops ignorantly thought they must have broken communion or they would have known about them.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š So they were forced to make a profession of faith, but that does not change the fact there was no act of schism only physical and political isolation.
The Melkites and Antiochians seem to be stuck on insisting they were at one time Monothelites but this has been disproven several times by Maronite Scholars.
So the Maronite Church as a distinct ecclesial entity has never been in schism with Rome although they had little contact with Rome before the Crusades.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š As to not having a counterpart, certainly Syriac Orthodox, both Eastern or Oriental are the counterparts.ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€š Sharing with both a Syriac lineage from Antioch, sharing with the EO, Chalcedon and with the OO, the Syraic Rite, although modified.
Fr. Deacon Lance