06/06/2007, 00.00
IRAQ
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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.

Baghdad (AsiaNews) – The Synod of the Chaldean Church currently underway in Alquoch has apparently named two new bishops for Erbil and Europe, some sources report. But some critics have complained that the Synod has allowed their names to be leaked before Papal approval, thus betraying the principle of synodal secrecy.

Patriarch Emmanuel Delly chose a monk, Fadi Isho, as bishop of Erbil, and Mgr Philip Najim, his representative in Italy, as bishop for Europe.

Seven bishops did not take part in the synod, including Mgr Louis Sako of Kirkuk, Mgr Rabban al-Qas of Amadiyah and Erbil; Mgr Petros Hanna Issa Al-Harboli of Zakho; mgr Mikha Pola Makdassi of Alquoch, and Mgr Antoine Audo of Aleppo.

The synod also discussed the issue of the safety and security of Iraqi Christians. Some Chaldean bishops from North America are pushing for a “Christian enclave” in the Nineveh Plain. This, however, would undermine Iraq’s traditional multi-faith fabric and could turn the Christian community into an ethnic “Assyrian” minority locked in its own ghetto.

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