Ordination of three Chaldean deacons “real sign of hope” for Iraq Christians

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Ordination of three Chaldean deacons “real sign of hope” for Iraq Christians

Baghdad--Agencies

“A sign of hope amid so much violence and despair”. This is how Mgr Louis Sako, Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, described the ordination of three new deacons that has taken place in Ankawa, Kurdistan. The ceremony took place in the Church of St. Joseph and was celebrated by the bishop of Amadhyia and Erbil, Mgr Rabban Al Qas. Also present were Mgr Mikha Maqdassi, bishop of Al Qosh, and Mgr Sako himself who as lecturer at the local faculty of theology wanted to express his “support” for the seminarians.

Courses offered by the Chaldean Major Seminary of St. Peter and Babel College, the only Christian theological faculty in Iraq, resumed officially last month in Ankawa, after the forced relocation of both institutions from Baghdad, which had become too dangerous.

The ordained deacons are Salar Soulayman Bodagh of the diocese of Al Qosh, Raymond Hamid Sargis of Baghdad and Louya' Gilyana Dinkha from Mosul.

A month ago, Wassim Sabih Youssif was ordained in Baghdad. In the coming days, four Syro-Catholic deacons will be ordained, namely Raid Adil Fatohi and Mazin Isho' Mattoccha in Mosul; Ammar Abdullahad Ayub and Nuhad Sabih Alcas Moussa.

Speaking about the new ordinations, Mgr Sako described them as “real signs of hope amid so much violence.” He also talked about the latest threats to the Christian community and the umpteenth kidnapping. “A Catholic from Karaqosh, Abdul Khaliq Bakos, the brother of a Dominican Sister, was kidnapped a few days ago in Baghdad; an hour after the kidnapping, his relatives paid the ransom demanded only to find him dead two days later.” The man had three children. The bishop continued: “In Kirkuk, some Christian doctors left the city after receiving a letter asking for enormous sums of money to be delivered on pain of death.”

Mgr Sako said the insecurity has threatened the daily life of all Iraq’s communities. He added: “It is a positive sign but the Iraqi Church is experiencing a worrying vacuum at pastoral level in the Church." He added that kidnappings and threats targeting Christians continue in the north too.

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 12:20
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