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  • » 10/09/2017, 14.33


    Chaldean Synod: 'Solidarity and Pride' of Iraqi Christians, witnesses of peace, faith and unity

    Patriarch and bishops express "appreciation" for the role of the armed forces in the fight against terrorism. The  desire to celebrate  "the liberation of the entire territory". At a "critical and difficult time" a renewed appeal to dialogue between Baghdad and Erbil. Prayer for vocations.

    Rome (AsiaNews) - In a "critical and difficult" time for Iraq, the Chaldean Church expresses "appreciation" for the role played by the armed forces in the fight against the "terrorists" of the Islamic State (IS, formerly Isis) and renews its call to "dialogue" to overcome the "crisis" between Erbil and Baghdad following the referendum on independence.

    This is what the Chaldean patriarchate underlines in a statement published at the end of the Synod, which was held in Rome from October 4 to 8. In the text, the leaders of the Iraqi Church also expressed the "solidarity and pride" of the Christian community, which has been able to keep the "faith" alive.

    Signed by Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako and the bishops present, the statement highlights the "results" of the Iraqi forces and the recent victories over the Islamic jihadists; the wish of the Iraqi Church, is that there will soon be celebrations for "the liberation of the entire territory of Iraq".

    In the "difficult circumstances" of the Middle East, and in particular Syria and Iraq, the bishops trace a "visionary and realistic view of all the challenges" facing "our country, our Church and the Christians of the region."

    Chief among them is the "emigration" and the common commitment to promoting policies and plans that ensure the survival of families - displaced and non - and encourage the return of those who in the past have chosen to emigrate.

    "Despite the persecution we have experienced," continues the patriarchal note, "we have kept the flame of faith and hope in the hearts firmly alive, without fanaticism but with deep respect for the other Christian communities [Assyrian, Syriac, Armenia]. It affirms our membership of our Church, our family in a spirit of solidarity, sacrifice, mutual love and responsibility. " he leaders of the Iraqi Church also ask for prayers "to nourish priestly and monastic vocations" in a clerical crisis.

    In these days, Chaldean Bishops and Patriarch Sako met Pope Francis, who renewed the invitation to the Iraqi Church to act as an element of peace and stability in the country and in the world. An even more urgent engagement in a period of hardship and divisions within the same Iraqi institutions that threaten national unity.

    The reference is to the September 25 independence referendum, promoted by Iraqi Kurdistan on. Voting was also held in the controversial territory of Kirkuk and ended with an overwhelming victory in favor (over 90% yes). "We are very concerned about the developments in the country's political situation, particularly the referendum crisis," the Patriarch notes. We invite all parties to "calm," and "not to escalate” tensions, renewing the commitment to "courageous dialogue" as the only "safe way" to "overcome the crisis".

    In this regard, Msgr. Shlemon Audish Warduni, auxiliary bishop of Baghdad, speaks to AsiaNews of a "slight improvement" in the situation because there are "attempts at dialogue" and "steps towards an opening" between Baghdad and Erbil. Hence the pressing appeal to "dialogue and reconciliation" addressed to both parties.

    We must continue to be a "sign of hope," concludes Patriarch Sako, and remain "confident" so that "there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel." (DS)

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    See also

    04/05/2007 IRAQ
    Iraq’s Chaldean bishop’s appeal to the Sharm el-Sheikh summit and the world’s Muslims
    The prelates publish a letter addressed to the international representatives gathered in Egypt for the future of Iraq. They ask for an end to violence against Christians and a return to the united effort to rebuild the country in peace and respect of diversity.

    16/06/2008 IRAQ
    "Ecumenical graduation" at Babel College in Ankawa
    The academic year concludes for the only theology faculty in Iraq: the five graduates come from the Chaldean, Armenian Orthodox, Assyrian, and Syro-Catholic communities. Patriarch Delly and many bishops attend the ceremony. Three sisters wounded today by a suicide bomber in Telkef.

    06/06/2007 IRAQ
    Chaldean synod: the names of two new bishops leaked
    They are Fadi Isho and Philip Najim. Synod discusses the safety of Christian community and the controversial idea of an “ethnic enclave” for Iraqi Christians.

    20/03/2008 IRAQ
    Chaldean Christians, after five years the crestfallen dream of Iraq
    Five years after the American invasion of Iraq, we publish the testimony sent to AsiaNews by a Chaldean Christian in Mosul. The community is still in shock over the loss of its pastor, Archbishop Rahho, killed by his kidnappers this month. The questions that still surround what is today the last stronghold of al Qaeda in Iraq.

    05/12/2003 Iraq - Vatican
    Newly elected Patriarch of Baghdad seeks support from entire Christian world

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