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Patriarch criticizes bishop’s efforts to bring Iraqi refugees to US

October 10, 2014

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The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has criticized an American bishop for his efforts to bring Chaldean Catholic refugees to the United States.

In an apparent reference to Bishop Sarhad Jammo, who leads the Eparchy of Saint Peter the Apostle of San Diego, Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako told Vatican Insider that

... he is also not experiencing firsthand what we are experiencing. In America they put baskets with asylum request forms on church altars during Mass. As if the migration of thousands of Iraqi Christians to the US was something to ask God’s blessing for. That’s a strange thing to do and only confuses people’s faith.

Unfortunately, some members of the clergy turn into businessmen instead of remaining shepherds of souls. They think in business instead of evangelical terms, even in relation to faithful. To some they are just numbers who can help priests beef up numbers of Catholics in the areas over which they have jurisdiction. They have them transferred from one bleak situation to another, which may even be worse in the long run. Migrants are left to their own devices and are not offered adequate pastoral care.

“Each Christian needs to look inside him or herself and ask themselves what future it is they are seeking,” he added. “They need to try and feel God’s love in this situation. Ask themselves what the Lord is asking from them in that moment and maybe realize that we have a future here in this devastated and blessed land of ours. And that the whole country represents our mission.”


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Oct. 10, 2014 9:58 PM ET USA

    Wow,jaded as I am,it seems that attempts of Bishop Jammo to assist immigration of Chaldean Catholic refugees for business reasons seems a bit of a stretch.

  • Posted by: Defender - Oct. 10, 2014 6:19 PM ET USA

    "Unfortunately, some members of the clergy turn into businessmen instead of remaining shepherds of souls. They think in business..." The patriarch has obviously seen U.S. bishops in action! This time, however, I think the bishop has good intentions, rather than stand by and have Christians slaughtered, allow them to emigrate to the U.S.