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Catholic Culture Resources
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Vatican overturns Chaldean Patriarch's suspension of priests who fled Islamic State

January 09, 2015

The Vatican has overturned a ruling by Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, lifting the suspension of Chaldean priests who fled Iraq after the Islamic State came to power.

The Chaldean Patriarch had ordered all of his priests to return to their parishes, unless they had received explicit permission to leave. He reasoned that priests should serve their people even when their ministry puts them in danger.

Chaldean Catholics in San Diego, California, appealed to the Vatican, and won a ruling in favor of Father Noel Gorgis, who is now serving in a parish there. The ruling allowed Father Gorgis to remain in California and continue his priestly ministry.

The same ruling applies to other Chaldean priests who faced suspension because of the Patriarch’s order.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Jan. 17, 2015 1:52 AM ET USA

    I tend to agree with the Patriarch. The priests should have stayed with their suffering people.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Jan. 10, 2015 12:30 AM ET USA

    Patriarch Louis Rafael should come to San Diego and join the party; most of his flock is now here, God bless them. If you want to hear what Jesus sounded like 2000 years ago when he spoke with his human voice, just hang out in one of the neighborhood convenience stores.