Pope voices support for Iraqi Christian communities

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Pope Benedict XVI voiced his “solidarity with the Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East” in a message to the leader of the Assyrian Church of the East.

The Pope’s message to Mar Dinkha IV, the Catholicos of the Assyrian Church, was timed for the 50th anniversary of the Iraqi prelate’s ordination as a bishop. Mar Dinkha IV now makes the headquarters of the Assyrian Church in Chicago, because so many of his followers have been driven out of Iraq, where the Assyrian Church is historically centered.

In his message Pope Benedict recalled the Common Declaration on Christology released by the Holy See and the Assyrian Church of the East in 1994, resolving old theological controversies. He promised that the two churches would pursue their “common journey toward the re-establishment of full communion.”

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