Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Tuesday, 20 February 2024
Patriarch Sako to the Chaldeans around the world, “Unity, then unity”

Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako :

Currently, the situation of the Middle East is terrible due to the political and componential divisions, which has brought nothing but evil.

In Iraq, we are experiencing this phenomenon, where international, regional “bodies” and financed parties are working to divide Iraqis, based on sectarian components, having certain extremist ideology and loyalties. What hurts us more was their success in eliminating National Affiliation and dividing each component: Shiite – Shiite, Sunni – Sunni, Kurdish – Kurdish and even Christians. This situation created ongoing crises, in addition to the spread of “epidemic” corruption by stealing public money. Therefore, successive governments failed to protect Iraq’s sovereignty; its resources; and to preserve the rights of its people on the basis of full citizenship.


Christians are paying a “high” price and have been forced to emigrate due to these divisions. Also, well-known parties, who concealed the facts “for ulterior motives”, seduced some Church leaders with money and privileges in order to control their capabilities and dominating their properties.


Let me go Back to Chaldeans: During my recent visit to the Chaldeans in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, as well as my follow-up on the Chaldean situation in Iraq, I witnessed a painful way of divisions, ranging from Chaldeans, to Chaldo -Assyrians, or Assyrians and also Chaldo – Syriac – Assyrian. Moreover, there is also a group who wants to establish a new party or a new “body” with false claims, in addition to those who plan to hold a “Chaldean Conference”, which is certainly not for the benefit of Chaldeans, as they claim.


This by itself is a damage that hinders any unity, because unity should be achieved when we are “strong”, as stated by Jesus Christ “Every household divided against itself will be ruined.” (Matthew 12: 25) Frankly, this should be a “red line”. Today, more than ever, is imperative for Chaldeans to rally around their identity and their Church and to communicate among them and with others in an honest and positive manner.


 Unity occurs through serious dialogues, negotiations, and understandings, rather than through shameful divisions stemming from selfish interests, narcissistic and using deceptive slogans.


I support the unity of Churches, unity of Chaldeans, Syriacs and Assyrians, with sincere intention, through recognition and respect of others; and comprehensive dialogue away from division and dispersion. Overall, unity can be achieved by strong persons and not opportunist.


Chaldeans around the world must understand that they are “nothing but a project of splitting” financed by certain entities… What happened to me personally is a result for confronting the malicious splitting efforts.


Look at what Maronite brothers in Lebanon are facing now: how His Beatitude Patriarch Boutros Cardinal Rahi failed to bring them together, in spite of all his attempts to unify their stances in order to elect a president of the republic.


In the same context of the multiplicity of parties and loyalties, we have an example of the weakened situation of our brother Assyrians, especially the “Assyrian Democratic Movement”, due to their tribal and rural affiliations divisions that even affected the Church. We hope that the two Churches will unite as soon as possible.


Bottom line: In light of the danger of division and extinction comes the importance of working hard as one team for unity, as there is no salvation for us without solidarity and unity, especially since our number in Iraq is decreasing and our presence is threatened.