sabato, gennaio 30, 2016

 

The Fourth Anniversary of my Election as Patriarch of Babylon for the Chaldeans (The complete text)

By Chaldean Patriarchate
Louis Raphael I Sako
 
I
Photo by Chaldean Patriarchate
I thank God for everything; for the accelerated painful incidents that took place in the past three years, determining the fate of our people; for all their consequences; difficulties and challenges we faced; for the agony that came along with it. However, these struggles did not kill us since it did not take away our hope, which we are sure it will realized. I would like also to thank all those who encouraged me to go on with determination and potency, especially my two dear auxiliary bishops as well as other bishops, Priests, Nuns and friends inside and outside the country.
 As you know, the Church has named this year as a “Year of Mercy” and I have to be the first one to live and practice mercy. Therefore, I forgive sincerely all those who criticized me and tried to stop our progress to proceed; and I would like to take this occasion to ask everyone who felt that I hurt him/her to accept my apology, although there should be no confusion between administration and personal relationships.
 I utterly realize that my cross is heavy, but I have to carry it with faith, confidence and happiness to serve my Chaldean Church, all Christians in Iraq, and my country as a whole. With the help of those who have the good will, I promise to do my best in; protecting our identity and our presence in this land; rejecting all forms of injustice; supporting peace; promoting the dialogue and coexistence language. I promise also to carry this burden on my weak shoulders, asking God for strength and to enlighten my way, so I can keep giving and scarifying in order to achieve the spirit of my motto in “Authenticity, Unity, and Renewal”.

The list below shows some of our achievements during the past three years:
 1. Adoption of the Synod’s decision in ordaining six Bishops based on their spiritual depth, leadership, open-minded education, and clear vision (so, to have the right person at the right place). I thank God for that.
 2. Reformation the liturgy of serving the Chaldean Mass, Baptism, Wedding etc. so as to maintain its’ Eastern originality that suits the mentality and education of today’s believers, which will help them to live their liturgy on daily basis. Besides, the current circumstances are appropriate for such changes in order to get rid of all strange traditions that are not in line with what the Bible teaches and with our reality (as recommended by Pope Francis in 22 January 2016). The Chaldean Church and other churches worked together to help the displaced families and to relief them.
 3. Activation of the laws to achieve justice among members of Clergy as much as we could, stressing on spirituality, willingness to serve, and unity inside the church to work with each other as one apostolic team . Also thanks to Finance Committee that seized the accounts from corruption.
 4. Enhancement and strengthening of the role-played by the Patriarchate in Iraq, as we believe that the future of our church is on its’ land, without neglecting our churches abroad.
 I am not claiming the ability to do miracles, because God only is capable to do that, and it is not important for me to harvest the fruit of my effort, but is essential that everything is anchored on a solid humanitarian and evangelical base. I believe that the truth will be revealed one day and will emancipate, in spite of all criticism. This situation reminds me of a famous saying state that (a person whose hand is in fire is not like the one whose hand is in water).
 It hurts me to see our beloved country has been torn apart with thousands of wounded and murdered innocent people, millions of displaced and the horrific demolition everywhere. It is time to renew our commitment to the land and to each other as members of the ONE Iraqi family, in spite of our differences. I trust that the existence of enlightened people together with the country’s intellectual and economical wealth will help to rebuild Iraq and enjoy a secure and peaceful life for years to come.
 It is painful that Christians are scattered and dispersed in such “rigid” national and inactive parties, as small apostolic churches that has the name but ineffectual and whose people are trapped by Evangelical incomers. However, I believe that the day will come when they become mature enough to unite in one shining and witness Church, because Christians have no other choice but to build on the ancient history and ennobled mission of the church. As we all know, unity is a special spiritual, humanitarian, social, and political power. Unity also enhances the bonds between us without marginalizing others. As Christians, we are responsible ethically about what is happening to our targeted and overwhelmed people. I hope that this seriousness and bitterness of the reality will push us to unite.
 Displacement and brain drain worries me as it threatens our heritage, language, tradition and our historical existence in this land, which is ours. Therefore, we need an actual support from our brothers and sisters abroad and from the international society to contribute urgently in the process of rescuing our region to help displaced families returning to their homes. We need actions not speeches and promises.
 To overcome this heavy historical burden, and to leave this past behind, we need prayers, big hearts, modesty, and the ability to read, think and analyze “the signs of the times”. We need to respect the other who is different without having decisions and orders, and to be capable to live with our differences. The most important thing is to be with God’s word, live it at home and work. This kind of integration will make the diversity of our ethnical groups and churches a ladder for our unity, knowing that unity is a dream of every Christian, a hope of the church and Jesus’ commandment.
 Finally and based on my experience, fateful indicators, I renew my appeal of 16 January 2016 to form a “Unified Christian Ecumenical Gathering” to act as a political reference for Christians, to deliver a true image of the current situation and to submit a master plan with a practical mechanism for implementation. This Gathering may compete in the upcoming election with a single list of candidates who have the efficiency and courage to serve in a way that the Christians can play their national role in this country and in decision-making. It is an excellent opportunity for us especially that we are living today in an unprecedented situation that threatens our presence. As soon as possible, I will invite Christian Politicians and religious authorities to discuss the project.
 I would like also to call my Chaldean sons and daughters to join the Chaldean League and provide the “Chaldean Home” at this crucial stage, which will ultimately contribute to consolidating our steps toward unity.
 The Lent is at hand, I take this occasion to call on everyone to fasting and prayer as much as possible until the end of our sufferings - our Passover overflowing to the resurrection of life, peace and blessing.
Thank you for your prayers

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