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New Chaldean eparchy created for Iraqi Catholic refugees in Canada

June 10, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has established a Chaldean Catholic eparchy in Canada, and appointed Archbishop Hanna Zora as its first bishop.

The establishment of a new ecclesiastical jurisdiction reflects the continued emigration of Chaldean Catholics from Iraq and Iran. There are now nearly 40,000 Chaldeans living in Canada, many of them having fled Iraq in the past decade. Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk, Iraq, told Vatican Radio that while Chaldeans there welcomed the news of the new eparchy, “we are a little saddened by the continuing exodus from our land, where the Church has been present since the 5th century.”

Archbishop Zora, a native of Iraq, was named Archbishop of Ahwasz, Iran, in 1974. In 1987, during the Iran-Iraq war, the archbishop—who remained an Iraqi citizen—left Iran and lived for several years in Rome. In 1993 he moved to Canada, and has since taken responsibility for the pastoral care of Chaldean Catholics in that country, from a base in Toronto.


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