» 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".
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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.
04/07/2016 17:09:00 IRAQ
For Patriarch Sako, Baghdad massacre rooted in IS’s desire to rule the world
This morning, the Chaldean Patriarch visited Baghdad’s Karrada district, scene of the latest Jihadi attack. So far the death toll stands at 165 with at least 225 wounded. Other sources claim more than 200 deaths. Government unity is needed to counter extremist violence. The Muslim world must realise that IS is a cancer eating away at Islam itself. Pope Francis prays for the victims and their families.
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As Iraqi troops advance in the Nineveh Plain and Mosul, a new wave of refugees could overshadow the fate of other refugees who found hospitality in Kurdistan. People need kerosene, winter clothes, aid for children, and money for rent. The campaign AsiaNews launched two years ago is more urgent than ever. Give up a superfluous gift to offer refugees an essential gift for life.
Pastor of Amadiya: Mosul’s Christian refugees, torn between emergency aid and the longing to return home
P. Samir Youssef
In a letter Fr. Samir Youssef describes the situation of refugees, exiled from their home for more than two years. They are closely following the offensive to retake Mosul, although their homes and churches "are for the most part" burned or destroyed. With the arrival of winter there is a serve lack of heating oil, clothes, food and money to pay for their children’s school bus. An appeal to continue to support the AsiaNews campaign.
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