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Fush BaShlomo Lkhoolkhoon,

I read this in the News section of CNEWA.

Pope Francis’ naming of Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako as cardinal is a gift to the Chaldean Catholic church, which has been struggling in the face of terrorism, said an Iraqi archbishop.

Chaldean Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah called Cardinal-designate Sako a “courageous voice.”

“He’s transparent in his way to guide our church and with his presence. He’s a very special man, spiritually,” Archbishop Mirkis told Catholic News Service, adding that under Patriarch Sako’s leadership there has been a particular focus on new vocations.

“The Catholic Church is a global church. We are Catholic and this nomination is a sign of our catholicity” as Chaldeans, Archbishop Mirkis added.

Cardinal-designate Sako, 69, is one of 14 new cardinals who will be elevated in a consistory at the Vatican June 29. Pope Francis made the announcement May 20, and Archbishop Mirkis told CNS the following day: “This is a gift from the pope to our church, all the Chaldean Church, which has been struggling against fanaticism and terrorism all these years and (is) especially meaningful since we gave many martyrs.”

Cardinal-designate Sako’s appointment follows the announcement earlier in May that the Vatican has formally opened the cause for canonization of Chaldean Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni and three deacons who were gunned down in Mosul, Iraq, in 2007. Chaldeans are the indigenous people of Iraq, whose roots trace back thousands of years.

Before the American-led invasion of 2003, there were more than 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. More than half of that Christian population has migrated due to discrimination, threats, abductions and especially the expulsion of some 120,000 Christians from their homes in Ninevah Plain by Islamic State in 2014.

Cardinal-designate Sako has worked tirelessly for peace, coexistence and national reconciliation in Iraq and the Middle East, as well as for unity among churches. Lamenting the exodus of Christians from Iraq, he repeatedly has appealed to the central government and local authorities to guarantee them a peaceful future in their homeland.

In January, the cardinal designate was nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. His nomination, submitted by the French Catholic association L’Oeuvre d’Orient, was later accepted by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Cardinal-designate Sako was born in Zakho, Iraq, July 4, 1948. He studied in Mosul and was ordained a priest there in 1974. He holds two doctorates: one in Eastern patristics at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, the second in history from the Sorbonne in Paris.

After studying abroad, the cardinal-designate returned to Iraq in 1986, where he served as pastor for 11 years in Mosul. During the U.S.-led embargo of Iraq, he and several physicians and pharmacists opened a dispensary for the poor. Between 1997 and 2002 he served as rector of the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad before returning to his diocese of origin to serve as a parish priest. In 2003, eight months after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, he was appointed archbishop of Kirkuk.

He was elected to lead the Chaldean Church in early 2013, and Pope Benedict XVI formally recognized the election soon after.


While I congratulate His Beatitude I still have mixed feelings about Eastern Catholics being named cardinals. Further, my understanding is that a Patriarch is of higher station than a Cardinal so should not an Eastern Catholic Cardinal still be addressed as His Beatitude instead of His Eminence. I have attached a poll to see how others see this.

Fush BaShlomo Lkhoolkhoon,
Yuhannon

Eastern Catholic Cardinals
single choice
Eastern Catholics should have the the option of being appointed as Cardinals of the Roman Church (0%, 0 Votes)
Eastern Catholics should not have the the option of being appointed as Cardinals of the Roman Church (33%, 1 Votes)
In today's modern age all Catholic Patriarchs and Major Archbishops (Major Archeparchs) should automatically be Cardinals of the Chruch (67%, 2 Votes)
Total Votes: 3
Voting on this poll ends: 05/31/18 11:59 PM
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I don't necessarily have a problem with Patriarchs / Archbishops Major being also titled Roman Cardinals to assist the Pope in his Office, however, they should not be ranked below any Roman Cardinal-Bishop. If the Eastern Patriarch/Catholicos is going to accept such a title, the Pope should have then in a special class of Cardinal, perhaps Cardinal-Patriarch, which supercedes in dignity any Roman Cardinal. Of course in function, the Roman Cardinals have to have precedence, since they would actually Chair functions of the Roman Church.

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Shlomo Michael_Thoma,

As I understand it, if a Patriarch is appointed a Cardinal then they are automatically placed in the Cardinal-Bishop group without having a Church assigned. Major-Archbishops and lower are placed in the group their Cardinanate.

Fush BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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I would also like to see heads of sui iuris churches automatically given the title of cardinal.
As for having a new class of Cardinal-Patriarch, one of my pet annoyances is when the patriarch of Lisbon is designated Cardinal-Patriarch in the press or even in church documents.
I once asked his press officer why they hyphenate it, since the two titles are independent of each other and he replied that he had no idea, it was just the way it had always been done!

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Shlomo Filipe,

First, I wish to say I loved visiting Portugal. I got to see the "Patriarchal" Museum in Lisbon (for anyone who has not been there it is second only to the Vatican in ornate pieces), and of course Fatima and the other Holy places.

In the issue you brought up I agree, it makes the office of Patriarch look as if it is appended to that of Cardinal. Further, in the West Patriarchates are treated as only honorary titles and not as the truly unique and high post they should be looked at. Right now I wish that the Western Church would look at its organization and break itself up into a number of Patriarchal territories. That way their Church could develop organically in each Patriarchal Territory.

I also believe that all Patriarchates both territorial and universal should be the ones to determine the establishment of eparchies/dioceses within the world. For example if my Church would actually look at the needs of its people we would have eparchies in Ecuador, multiple ones in Brazil, one or two in Central America, one each in Chile, Uruguay, Paraguy, etc. In Africa we would have our Church in Nigeria fully established as well as have eparchies/exarchies in Sierra Leon, the Gambia, Togo, South Africa, Tanzania, etc. By golly if we really wanted to we should have one in New Zealand that covered that country and the Pacific. And don't get me started on the Middle East. And it is not just my Church but all of us Eastern Catholics. In Turkey, with the number of refugees the Byzantine Greek Catholic Church should be our front line as it was at the beginning of the last century.

I understand we need to respect our Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters, but that should not come at the expense of those Easterners that wish to be and SHOW their faith in the Pope as the Universal head of the Church.

Fush BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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HH Patriarch MAXIMOS IV of blessed memory is quoted as having said that his "greatest mistake was accepting a cardinal's hat."

It may be intended as an honor but, possibly unknowingly, a definite step-down from being the "head and father" of an equal Church, to that of being an "appointee" of another particular Church.

"Primus inter pares", not "Primus super pares" or, as one wag has called it, "Roma über alles."

It is no slight or slap at the petrine office to be forthright in defending the dignity of our own Churches in this communion of Churches that we call the Catholic Church. "Primacy yes, supremacy no."


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