ASIA/IRAQ – Louis Sako, the new Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Christ will help us rebuild our house

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – “Authenticity, unity, renewal.” These are the three words that Archbishop Louis Sako, just elected the new Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, chose as his patriarchal motto. Three guidelines that will inspire him in his new role. The Synod of Chaldean Bishops, being held in Rome since Monday, chose the new Patriarch yesterday. The Archbishop of Kirkuk passed the required majority of two-thirds of the 15 voting Bishops. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has already sent to the new Patriarch his Ecclesiastical Communio. “I feel I have been called to a heavy responsibility, and I have a little ‘fear,” said the new Patriarch to Fides Agency. “We are facing many difficulties, in the Country and even outside the country” says His Exc. Mgr. Sako, “but with the help of Christ and the collaboration between the Bishops we will live a unity that will allow us to rebuild the Chaldean house. A house that will always be open to other Churches – starting with our Assyrian brothers – and our Muslim fellow citizens.” According to Patriarch Sako, “the Chaldean Church must be a sign of hope, witness and communion, despite the difficulties, according to the invitation and the call addressed to all of us by Pope Benedict in his postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in the Middle East.” Compared to the difficulties and hardships that mark the Iraqi scenario, new Patriarch Sako invites his fellow citizens of all faiths to work together “in defense of human dignity and harmonious coexistence based on equality of rights and duties for all citizens.” On the future of the Christian presence in the Middle East, His Exc. Mgr. Sako acknowledges that “the road ahead of us is rough and hard, but we can deal with it hoping in the Lord. We are a small flock, but we are His flock, and the number is not important. We can go ahead, in the places where we are.” (GV) (Agenzia Fides 01/02/2013).