Since the passing of Patriarch Shikho

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Since the passing of Patriarch Shikho, our Chaldean Church leadership has undergone changes that have weakened it spiritually and structurally, with a free-for-fall of rules and regulations and disobedience of many its clergy. With the election of Patriarch Louis Sako, with additional pragmatic, intellectual, new bishops to the synod, the church has been trying to re-assert itself amidst the complex changes of re-structuring the political, cultural, and social status of the Iraqi Christians, including the Chaldean community.

Many bishops, priests, and monks took advantage of the pre-Patriarch Sako era and tried to use their positions in the church to benefit themselves, whether by abandoning their church position, twisting the church rules to benefit them personally, financially, or socially, or taking positions in churches illegally. Unfortunately, a renegade Chaldean American bishop has taken it upon himself to interpret the church’s rules and regulations for his benefit, and has gathered other bishops and priests in a sign of mutiny and disrespect in every aspect of the new Patriarch and synod’s teachings, to the point of going in the exact opposite direction and even using laypeople as spokespersons for his causes in local and national media.

The point is not whether he is right or wrong, but rather that currently the church and its leadership is fighting for their survival. The basin of the Chaldean Christianity has been jilted by violent actions against its people, where they have been forced into emigration and immigration. Anybody and everybody who has love and respect for the church must set aside their personal and ideological ambition and must join the church’s hierarchy and divert their spiritual, cultural, and social influence toward unity, not only to show that church leaders, with the Holy Spirit that they believe has guided them into their vocation, are a symbol of hope to the laypeople who look to them with special titles and respect, but also to try to safeguard our church in the world.

The renegade bishop and his rebellious priests and monks must respond positively to the conciliatory notes from Patriarch Sako and other bishops and the laypeople of St. Peter’s Eparchy. If not, for the sake of the Chaldean Church and its members, the church’s leadership and its synod must act decisively once and for all and should not let cancerous disobedience threaten its future.

St. Peter Eparchy’s bishop in San Diego must publicly and privately be told to tow the church and synod rules. We all must pray that wisdom and the Holy Spirit guide everybody toward resolution of this conflict, and that love and respect return to strengthen our church, as has happened in the early days of our church when Jesus’ disciples had ideological and spiritual conflicts but in the end came together in unity.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Ramsay F. Dass, MD
President, American Middle East Christians Congress or
Office: (248) 546-9100
Cell: (248) 763-6006

You may visit our re-edited and revised Third Edition of our book, The Middle East Christians: The Untold Story, at or