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Chaldean patriarch calls on priests to stay close to Iraq’s suffering Christians

June 22, 2016

Meeting with Chaldean Catholic priests in Ankawa, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan to which thousands of Christians fled two years ago, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako called upon priests to live simply and to accompany their suffering people.

“Let us learn from Pope Francis’s experience in simplicity, humility and warmth of love to reveal the face” of Christ, the patriarch said, as he praised the priests for remaining in Iraq rather than emigrating.

“Let us follow the Pope’s example in serving Jesus with a new way of thinking and approaching as well as an ongoing search for new things to serve our brothers and offer assistance to them due to their poverty, worries and suffering so that our church can witness the love, mercy and resurrection of Christ forever,” he continued.

The patriarch also asked priests to embrace liturgical changes:

I believe that updating of liturgy helps the faithful understand and apply it on their daily life, especially [since] our liturgy is mostly dated back to the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. Thus, liturgy has not to be limited to one particular text only and it is not right to say that [a] “liturgical text cannot be touched or translated.” Such [a] mentality is intolerant and not in line with the Gospel: “the Sabbath was made for a man.”

 
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