CWN - Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad argues that military action against the Islamic State is justified.

“In these circumstances, making war is legitimate,” writes the Chaldean leader, in a new book, Stronger than Terror: The Christians of the Middle East and the Violence of ISIS. Saying that Pope Francis has recognized the need for action, the Patriarch says: “It is self-defense.”

The Islamic State is dedicated to the eradication of Christianity, the Iraqi prelate writes. At the same time, he assures readers, many Christians are ready to sacrifice—even to lay down their lives—to preserve their faith.

The Patriarch’s book bitterly criticizes the US for invading Iraq, destabilizing the country, and allowing for the rise of the Islamic State. In a related development, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, has released a new book of his own, recounting the history of Christianity in Iraq. The cardinal’s book traces the origins of the Iraqi Church to the preaching of St. Thomas the apostle.

Explaining the purpose of the book, Cardinal Filoni said: "Knowing the history of Christianity in the Middle East and especially Mesopotamia -- now Iraq-- is not an idle cultural extravaganza, but an approach that helps us to understand the reasons and the dramatic events of that region and appreciate life, culture, witness of faith and the reasons for Christians to be attached to their land, but also the hatred of their enemies.”


Transfiguration

You were transfigured on the mountain, O Christ God, * showing Your glory to Your Disciples as far as they were able to bear it. * Through the prayers of the Mother of God, * let Your everlasting Light shine also upon us sinners. * O Giver of Light, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 7)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Upon the mountain You were transfigured, O Christ God, * and Your Disciples beheld Your glory as far as they could receive it, * so that when they would see You crucified, * they would understand that You suffered willingly; * and they would preach to the world * that You are truly the radiance of the Father. (Kontakion, Tone 7)