06/12/2021, 12.18
IRAQ
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Chaldean Church to hold Mass for peace in the Middle East, entrusting the region to the Holy Family

The special service will be held on 27 June, in conjunction with the celebration of all the Catholic patriarchs of the East. Since Pope Francis’s visit, pastoral and Church life has experienced a renewal. The patriarch reminds Catholics of “Christian hope and national identity” as part of living together.

Erbil (AsiaNews) - The Chaldean Church plans to hold a special Mass for peace in the Middle East at 10 am, on 27 June in conjunction with the celebration of all the Catholic patriarchs of the East.

During the service, Christian leaders will entrust the region, ravaged by war and violence, to the care of the Holy Family of Nazareth.

The Chaldean Patriarchate sent AsiaNews a note to this effect following the bishops’ monthly meeting on Thursday at the Patriarch’s summer residence in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.

The assembly, one of the first in person after months of COVID-19 pandemic, was attended by, among others, Bishops Basil Yaldo, Shlemon Warduni, Bashar Warda and Najeeb Mikhael.

The Chaldean primate, Card Louis Raphael Sako, opened the meeting with a prayer for peace and stability in Iraq, followed by a presentation of the country’s general situation, that of the Church, and other topics on the agenda.

Since Pope Francis' visit in early March, the local Church has experienced a renewed pastoral and ecclesial impetus, as evinced by more than 200 first communions of young people last week in Baghdad.

Speaking about the Mass for peace, the cardinal explained that each bishop will celebrate the service in his own diocese, adding that diocesan leaders must supervise priests and religious at this crucial point in the country’s political life, preventing them from intervening or expressing any kind of public support to factions or parties in the run-up to next October elections.

The same applies to churches and places of worship, which must not be propaganda centres or welcome candidates. Believers, he added, should be reminded instead of the importance of “Christian hope and national identity” by working to “promote the values of living together”.

With respect to the Church, the prelate said that the next Chaldean Synod is scheduled in Baghdad from 9 to 14 August 2021, preceded by a spiritual retreat for prelates and priests from 19 to 23 July at the seminary in Ankawa (Erbil) under the theme “spirituality in the celebration of the liturgy of the sacraments”.

Lastly, as the auxiliary of Baghdad indicated to AsiaNews, the Patriarchate will organise a great meeting of Chaldean youth. To this end an ad hoc committee was set up chaired by Bishop Basil Yaldo.

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