Mar Dinkha IV, the head of the Assyrian Church of the East since 1976, has responded positively to an ecumenical overture by Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church since February.
The Assyrian Church of the East, now headquartered in Illinois, ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Council of Ephesus in 431. The Chaldean Catholic Church, headquartered in Baghdad, arose in the sixteenth century when some Assyrian bishops sought the restoration of full communion with the Roman Pontiff. Each Eastern church has approximately 400,000 members.
“We are very happy with your message to us regarding your good will to renew the dialogue with us aiming for unity; we also agree and support you in this good aim to be close to each other as brothers in Christ and the sons and daughters of one nation,” Dinkha IV said in his letter, which was posted on the Chaldean Catholic Church’s website.
“We hope that when we meet together we will discuss the difficulties facing the sons and daughters of our Church and nation in the Middle East and in the whole world, and we will establish a joint committee to have discussions for the purpose of joint action.”