» 01/30/2014, 00.00
Mar Sako, a year as Patriarch: unity, dialogue and mission, the challenges of the Chaldean Church
In a pastoral letter His Beatitude recounts the first year at the helm of the Chaldeans , and presents guidelines for the future. He does not forget the difficulties, the exodus of Christians and sectarian violence. The call to revive "the original charism" that helps believers to really live the "gift" of faith. The hope of peace and thoughts for our “brothers and sisters” in Syria and Lebanon.
Baghdad ( AsiaNews) - "Our Chaldean Church in Iraq and the world has gone
through difficult and critical circumstances" such as the massive emigration, lack of
unity, the revision of the liturgy, fragmentation and isolation. Now
is the time to turn to prayer " to see things in perspective of the Gospel" to walk "with honesty and trust in the Lord's Light and His
Mar Louis Raphael I Sako in a pastoral letter addressed to the bishops, priests,
nuns and faithful on the occasion of the first anniversary of his election as
Chaldean Patriarch, which took place January 31, 2013 during the Synod
in Rome. The
former archbishop of Kirkuk succeeded His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, who
resigned for reasons of age, and from the outset has placed the focus on the
major challenges of the Chaldean Church: the exodus of the faithful ,
interreligious dialogue with
Muslims and the rebirth of the communities of the East , the first protagonists
of evangelization in Asia.
His Beatitude turn his thoughts to
the Christians in Iraq and "the brothers in Syria and Lebanon," who "live today [in
situations of] fear and instability,
migration, and political and economic fragility" and to whom he expresses "sympathy, closeness
and prayer". To
them, but especially to the Chaldean community, Mar Sako renews his call to
"revive" their original charism: "Gift of martyrdom during persecution, and steadfast in faith; gift of
monastic life to live radically the Gospel, and gift of evangelizing, preaching
and enculturation". "Our
Church - he added - is invited to rebuild what
was destroyed and distorted, gather the scattered, and brings back the
In his pastoral letter to His
Beatitude reiterates on several occasions the value of unity and communion,
which will "free us from our divisions,
internal and external " and "take us out from shutting on ourselves due to personal, sectarian and
geographic reasons". "Unity
is the only hope - he continues - for our future". And
at the same time he emphasizes the values of " love, charity, loyalty and sacrifice". The
patriarch reaches out to all "Christian brothers and sisters" with feelings
of "peace , love and respect " and thanks God for the gift of the
Chaldean Church , in recent days, in fact , the community celebrated the
consecration of three new bishops a sign of
consolation , strength and hope" at a "critical" moment.
Mar Sako again emphasizes the
role of lay men and women who enjoy the same dignity as "sons of God"
and "equal rights" within the Church. They
are "partners, not mere spectators" and "encourage them to participate in the life of the
Church and public life, a real and effective participation". The Patriarch speaks of "great
expectations" in view of the elections at the end of April 2014, and
invites the Christian community to participate in order to become an active
protagonist in the history and life of the nation.
, His Beatitude also appeals for unity among the various churches, especially
Eastern ones, which must look to the Pope with renewed confidence . And
there is a reference to relations with the Muslim-majority in Iraq, renewing
the commitment to a dialogue based on "mutual respect" as a basis
"for peace and cooperation." He
hopes that the Church will find a "new methodology" and a new "
theological language", above all respecting the absolute value of "religious
freedom". The Patriarch particularly
appeals to the "voices of moderate Islam" to promote a "peaceful
coexistence" and reject "violence against Christians".
on 4 July 1948 in Zakho, northern Iraq, Patriarch Sako was ordained priest on 1
June 1974. On several occasions, the archbishop of Kirkuk denounced the exodus
of Christians, whose numbers have been more than halved, appealing to Church
officials and local political leaders as well as the international community to
ensure that Christians have a future in their native land.In recognition for
his work, the prelate received the Defensor
Fidei award in 2008; two years later, he was given the Pax Christi international award.
30/01/2016 13:30:00 IRAQ
After three years as patriarch, Mar Sako continues to focus unity and service for the future of the Church in Iraq
In a pastoral letter marking the third anniversary of his election, the Chaldean patriarch and primate of the Iraqi Church stresses achievements and outlines future challenges. In the Year of mercy, the latter include the need to forgive and be forgiven, and strong Christian political leaders to defend the rights of Iraq’s Christian community.
For Mar Sako, one year after the Mosul tragedy, only unity and reconciliation can save Iraq
On the first anniversary of the great exodus from the Nineveh Plain, the Chaldean Patriarch addresses a letter to Iraq’s government and parliament. In it, he denounces the difficult conditions in which Christians and Yezidis still live, as well as the thousands of deaths among Muslims. Peace is the only response to the violence of extremist groups who "exploit religion".
23/01/2016 13:15:00 IRAQ
Patriarch Sako: the ministry of lector for 40 men and women, a sign of a living Iraqi Church
Yesterday, 40 men and women received the lectorate in Baghdad’s Cathedral of St Joseph. The Chaldean Patriarch emphasised women’s role in the community. For Mgr Yaldo, more than 600 people came together "in an atmosphere of serenity and sharing”. The celebration is part of planned events for the Year of Mercy.
10/01/2015 IRAQ - FRANCE - ISLAM
Patriarch Sako: After Paris, Muslims must dismantle the ideology of hatred from inside Islam
The leader of the Chaldean Church sends a message of solidarity to the French people and the victims' families. In it, Mar Sako appeals to "our Muslim brothers" to uproot from Islam the use of violence in the name of religion since our future requires dialogue and peaceful coexistence.
Chaldean Synod: revitalising the Christian presence in Iraq and freedom for Syrian bishops
This is the thrust of the paper that marked the end of the meeting held in Baghdad on 5-10 June. The Fathers call for the creation of a "competent" Christian political class, urging the faithful to be "a bridge between cultures." The Synod also stressed the importance of the ecumenical movement and calls for an "honest dialogue" with the Assyrian Church of the East. It issues special thanks to Pope Francis.
CHINA - VATICAN
The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution
The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.
Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West
The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".
23/05/2016 VATICAN - ISLAM
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