Clarification from Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Eparchy in Canada
25 April 2018
During his Sunday sermon at Saint Paul Chaldean Church in Vancouver, B.C. (Canada), on April 22, 2018, Bishop Bawai Soro after thanking the present and former pastors Fr. Sabah Kamora and Fr. Sarmad Billoues for their service, he also thanked Fr. Ayoob Shawkat Adwar for his service for this Parish, in Vancouver.
When Bishop Soro offered his gratitude to Fr. Ayoob, he was under the impression that when Fr. Ayoob served in Vancouver he had, though for a short time, some kind of canonical mandate, namely, he was ministering with the permission of a Local Chaldean Eparch. After the Mass had ended, Bishop Soro has come to know about the illegal status of Fr. Ayoob at that time, that he was never permitted by any bishop in Canada to celebrate any Mass. Despite that reality Fr. Ayoob knowingly and willingly violated church canons by celebrating masses there, thus misguided the faithful of Saint Paul’s Parish, ultimately causing a division in the community and many doubts among the faithful.
These facts have made Bishop Soro rethink his statement about Fr. Ayoob and has clarified the issue with the following three points:
)1) Bishop Bawai Soro retracts the “statement of gratitude to Fr. Ayoob for his service in Vancouver”. The Bishop’s intention was never to undermine the church canons or minimize the legitimacy of the former and the present pastors of Saint Paul’s Parish. Additionally, he never wanted to validate a wrong act with a gesture of gratitude. Therefore, instead of gratitude, Bishop Soro offers Fr. Ayoob sincere prayers so that he will become an instrument of healing not a cause for division.
)2) As Eparch of the Diocese, Bishop Bawai Soro asks all the faithful in Vancouver to continuously partake in the Masses and activities of their own St. Paul Parish. He also asks the faithful not to attend any service held by Fr. Ayoob, because Chaldean Catholic faithful must worship at Chaldean Catholic services conducted by Chaldean Catholic priests in good standing with their eparchial bishop, who himself is in communion with His Beatitude, Patriarch Mar Louis Sako and His Holiness, Pope Francis. This rule especially applies to those Chaldean individuals whom the church has granted special honor to exercise lay ministries, like liturgical servers (Shamashe), members of the church choir and the parish council. If any of these “honored” faithful knowingly participated in such masses or services outside their parishes, their status shall be revoked and particular duty or role in the church will be withdrawn from them, yet, without depriving them of receiving church sacraments or services.
)3) The Chaldean Church in Canada is very much committed to her ancient celebration of the memorial of her Saints and Martyrs. However, these memorials and celebrations must only be celebrated by the parishes of Mar Addai Eparchy in Canada. In the case of our community in Vancouver, no group of people, village or tribe members are encouraged to celebrate these memorials without first obtaining the permission of the pastor of St. Paul’s Parish. Bishop Bawai Soro asks the faithful not to participate in any memorial of our saints outside the official mandate of Saint Paul Parish.
Office of the Chaldean Bishop of Canada