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Chaldean patriarch: clergy should serve the faithful, monks should return to monasteries

Catholic World News - November 07, 2013

In a recent letter to the clergy and religious of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako emphasized the importance of prayer and service.

“We have to be entirely and wholeheartedly for Christ and His Church, otherwise there is no meaning for our consecration,” he said.

“We shall stress firmly on measures relating to morals, whatever the rank of clergy, according to the laws of the Church and the directives of the Holy See,” he continued. “We are servants and not princes, patrons of the parish who need to look after the parishioners, attending continuously and kindly to their needs, carrying them on our shoulders and protect them, and stay close to all people, and our doors are open to welcome all and give them support and help and reduce their suffering.”

Monks “need to live in the monastery a communal life of prayer, meditation, and work,” he added. “It is not acceptable that we find here and there monks who had left their monasteries and started looking for a more comfortable life and freedom in working at a parish with parishioners and become closed on their self away from the communal and monastery life. Let them return quickly to their monastery and join their brothers no matter how difficult it seems, and if it was necessary that a parish is to be assigned to a monk then two other monks will accompany him.”

Financial matters, the patriarch continued, are best managed by the laity: “managing of the funds is entrusted to honest lay people who have experience in economy, and not to the Bishop or priest.”

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