Card Sako calls on laity to be united in bearing witness and social commitment
Christians cannot be so on a whim or in isolation; they must take part in the "common good". Divisions distort, especially for a minority like Iraqi Christians. Bearing witness to the faith in the new "digital" age requires a rethink. The Church must promote exchange and participation among her children.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – In the Church, “unity” is increasingly a "fundamental" condition for "participation in the common good, active Christian witness and social commitment,” this according to Card Louis Raphael Sako.
In a message posted on the patriarchate's website and sent to AsiaNews, the Chaldean primate stresses the role of the laity. Christians, in his view, cannot be so on a "whim" or "on their own, isolated" because divisions “distort” the way of living the faith, especially in a country with a Muslim majority like Iraq.
The Chaldean primate focuses once again on the importance of the "charism" of the laity, whose role in the development of the life of the Church in the Middle East he has emphasised and valued since the time when he was archbishop of Kirkuk.
The laity must be united to the body of the Church, while safeguarding the diversity and specificities of each one and valuing their contribution in the perspective of Christian witness.
However, in today's digital world the social ties inherited from our parents have been turned upside down, changing the "vision of religions.”
Thus, he warns, the Church must think of new ways to bear witness to the faith to the new generations while “avoiding chaos and demagogy". She is a “home for everyone" and the baptism is a source of unity.
For Christians, the “challenge” is to know how to counter the "individualistic" mindset that has affected religious and moral values, in a perspective of "communion and hope".
The Chaldean Church in Iraq moves "with courage and confidence" towards these reforms, which are needed so as to always be a witness "to the light of Christ".
In order to be faithful to this mission, it is important to follow the guidelines laid down by the pontiffs, starting with Pope Francis who calls for "a return to the root" of faith and stresses the need for “structural adjustments while preserving unity and diversity”.
With respect to the role of the laity, the Chaldean patriarch warns that it is not possible to imagine a Church without them, without men, women and children “called to discover their vocation and convert to it".
Their education must be “healthy and sustainable”, based on solid "theological knowledge" that sustains their "communion" with the Church, enabling them to participate in her life in an ever-truer way, while respecting the value of the hierarchy from pope to patriarch, or bishop in his diocese.
In concluding, the cardinal notes that the Church must promote “exchange and participation” among her children, opening herself to the needs of the faithful and encouraging them to form working groups in support of pastoral work, starting with parish committees.
This is what is meant when we talk about faith and the works of the laity, because “the door is always open for sober, committed and collaborative believers.”