Iraq: State Recognizes Cardinal Sako as Patriarch of the Church

Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani signed a decree “appointing” Iraqi Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako as patriarch of the Chaldean Church “in Iraq and around the world.”

Editor (06/12/2024 18:04, Gaudium Press) The decree, published last Tuesday, June 11, on the Chaldean Church’s website, recognizes Cardinal Sako’s patriarchal prerogatives and is a crucial step to overcome the crisis in relations between the Chaldean Patriarchate and the political and institutional leadership of Iraq, which began in July 2023.

At that time, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid had revoked Decree 147, issued a decade ago by his predecessor Jalal Talabani, which sanctioned the papal appointment of the patriarch as head of the Chaldean Church “in Iraq and around the world” in terms of national legislation and recognized him as “the final authority over the properties and donations of his Patriarchal Church.”

As a form of protest, Cardinal Sako decided to leave his patriarchate in Baghdad and move to Erbil. It was only in April this year, at the invitation of Prime Minister al-Sudani, that Patriarch Sako returned, after having been in Baghdad only once for a meeting with the Prime Minister.

The text of the decree that now ends the crisis states: “Based on the powers conferred on us by the Constitution” and other legal references, “we have decided the following: appoint Cardinal Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako as Patriarch of the Chaldeans in Iraq and around the world; “implement the endowment authority,” whereby the Patriarch “is responsible for the properties of the Chaldean Church.”

The Patriarch of the largest Christian church in Iraq, with about half a million faithful, will turn 75 on July 4.

More by Gaudium Press  The Role of Our Lady in the Church

With information from fides.org.

Compiled by Gustavo Kralj

 

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