(Romereports.com) The archbishop of Kirkuk in Iraq, Louis Sako, has been elected as the new Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon. He replaces 85 year old Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly. Now that Benedict XVI has validated Sako’s appointment, his official name is Louis Raphael I Sako.
He was elected in Rome during a small conclave of 15 bishops from the Chaldean Church, which is in full communion with the Pope.
Sako is known for his willingness to engage in dialogue with Muslims and also for his spirit of mediation, following the attacks of Christian churches and mosques in Iraq.
In 2010, he gave an interview to ROME REPORTS where he talked about the situation of Christians in his country.
Archbishop of Kirkuk (Iraq)
“We try to give a testimony of faith. Generally in Iraq, humble people appreciate our openness, our preparation and conduct, but it’s not enough though. Everything is politicized. Since they identify us Christians with Europe and the West, they think our actions are based on a Western way of thinking. But this is not the case. The West is a secular society. We don’t want to leave Iraq, because it is our country, our history.”
As the Chaldean Patriarch, he will be the spiritual leader of about 1 million Christian Chaldeans most of them in Iraq.