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New Chaldean patriarch enthroned, pledges to 'update our liturgy'

Catholic World News - March 06, 2013

Amid heavy security, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako was solemnly enthroned in Baghdad as head of the Chaldean Catholic Church on March 6, five weeks after his election by a synod of Chaldean prelates meeting in Rome.

The new Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, who leads an Eastern Catholic church with 419,000 members, told La Croix that his priorities are the reorganization of the patriarchal curia, the appointment of bishops to vacant sees, and the updating of liturgical books.

“Liturgical reform has never occurred in our church,” he said. “We celebrate the Mass according to an ancient missal, and each diocese has its own missal. We need to update our liturgy so that it speaks to man today, so that it gives meaning and much hope.”

Born in 1948, the patriarch was ordained a priest of the Eparchy of Mosul in 1974 and Archbishop of Kirkuk in 2003.

The church, which is in full communion with the Holy See, has eparchies (dioceses) in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

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