Held in Rome under the chairmanship of the Patriarch
Louis Raphael I Sako, the blessed
4-8 October 2017
To be read in all Chaldean churches and monasteries
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:16)
To our daughters and sons in the Chaldean Church in the land of ancestors and in the countries of expansion,
To our brethren priests, monks, and deacons,
To our nuns, family members, and young men and women,
This is the end of this Synod, in which you were present with us in various forms, because you are the present and the future of the Church, the Church which the Lord Jesus called us to serve in sanctification, teaching, and care.
In the beginning of this message, we wanted to quote this verse from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians, in order to convey to you the spiritual experience and the fraternal communion that we have lived through these four days of our annual Chaldean Synod. We have experienced the presence of the comforting Christ among us, and how, in His presence, He urges us to listen to each other and share thoughts in wisdom. By listening to Jesus, we are freed from fear and walk together with our heart full of hope!
In these difficult circumstances of our country in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria, we wanted to take a realistic and courageous view of all the challenges facing our countries, our Church, and the Christians of the region, and thus our dioceses and our people, especially our families who were forced to flee and take refuge in the countries of expansion.
What we want to say to you is to keep the covenant of your baptism in your hearts and consciences. Despite all the types of persecution we have experienced throughout our history, we persevered and kept on faith and hope in our hearts and the strength of our affiliation with our Church and our family in a spirit of solidarity, sacrifice, mutual love, and a spirit of responsibility.
Since our Chaldean Church has become widespread in many parts of the world, the Synod Fathers wish to remind you wherever you are, of not forgetting your Chaldean identity but instead embracing the language and heritage of your fathers in the new societies that provide openness, renewal, life, and new opportunities for support and cooperation.
Dear beloved daughters and sons, after meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis, we cannot but pass on his apostolic blessing and affection to everyone in your families and your monastic and educational communities. He is praying every day and is working to build peace and stability in your country and in the world. We join our prayers to his prayer asking the Lord Jesus Christ to make our church a tool of peace, a builder of bridges of reconciliation, and a partner in the richness of God’s word of salvation to all people who are close or are distant from us.
In conclusion, we ask you to pray for us – – the shepherds of the Church – – so that we can serve in generosity, humbleness, and wisdom. We also ask you to pray for the priestly and monastic vocations so that the Lord may send out workers into his harvest field and so that the consoling Word of God may reach the children of our Church, the Christians, and those of good will.
May the master of peace fill your hearts with hope!