The Speech of H. B. Patriarch Sako at the Installation of Mosul Archbishop
It is my pleasure to place the new Archbishop, Mikhaeel Najeeb Michaeel in the hands of Christian and Muslim community of Mosul and Akre. At the same time, I would like to place you all as a “treasure” in his hands.
It is worth revealing, that the parish rest assured and strengthened when the shepherd is guiding the flocks and taking care of them. The success of the Bishop depends on the unity of his diocese, for the shepherd is for all rather than to one person or another, knowing that discrimination, “selectivity” and factionalism destroys the community, as sectarianism and quotas have destroyed Iraq. Apparently, when we talk about the shepherd, we include faithful who form a single solid body with him in serving and taking care of the community.
Honestly, I am fully aware of the difficulties of the devastated Diocese of Mosul and also the related challenges ahead of us. However, I am sure you will be able to deepen the joy of liberation, establish the hope of returning as well as building trust and coexistence between diverse components of Mosul society, by the blessings of God and the cooperation of their Excellencies Bishops Youhanna Putros Moshi, of Syrian Catholics, and Nicodemus Dawood Sharaf, of Syrian Orthodox, together with good people of Mosul.
Extremism and violence are destructive. Hence, it is so important to have decent relations with those of good will to dismantle the ideology, customs and traditions of ISIS. I recall here the late martyr Dr. Mohammed al-Asali who shed his blood for defending Christians during the invasion of ISIS and became a bright sign for you “Mosullians” to hold on to each other.
Therefore, and from this platform, I call upon Christians and Muslims, especially politicians and clerics to bear their historic responsibility by opening a new page of trust, sincere relations and long-lasting unity. This is the only way to save and develop your damaged city, otherwise, the destruction persist and may increase.
Mosul is unique for its’ multicultural and diverse society. Similarly, the Church and Christians, in Mosul particularly, contributed to the history of this city nationally, culturally and professionally. Thus, I encourage Christians to return, communicate and work hard to build a common space that will provide them and their “citizens” with peace of mind, security and stability, because they have here their history, heritage, traditions, and ancient Churches. We pray may God bless Mosul with a vital “new birth”.
On this occasion, it is worthwhile mentioning the Bishops who preceded you in serving Mosul and I got to know them in person: Emmanuel Daddy, Gorgees Gramo, Faraj Raho “God bless their souls” and Amel Nona, who is currently serving in Australia.
In order to express our support to His Excellency Archbishop Michaeel-Najeeb Michaeel, and all Mosullians in their good endeavors for revitalizing Mosul, I have come with my auxiliary bishops, Mar Shlemon Warduni, Mar Basilios Yaldo and Mar Robert Saeed Jarjis accompanied by their Excellencies, Mar Bawai Soro, Bishop of our Church in Canada, Mar Ramzi Garmo, the Archbishop of Dyiarbaker-Turkey, Mar Mikhael Maqdassi, Bishop of Alqosh, Mar Bashar Warda, the Archbishop of Erbil, Mar Yousif Toma Mirkis, the Archbishop of Kirkuk and Sulaimani, Mar Francis Kalabat, Bishop of our Church in Detroit-USA, Mar Emanuel Shaleta, Bishop of our Church in San Diego-USA, and Mar Habib Al-Naufali, Bishop of Basrah and the south, with Bishops of Syrian Catholic Church, Mar Youhanna Putrus Moshi and Mar Yousif Abba, as well as Mar Saleeba of Syrian Arthodox, and Mr. Raad Kachachi, the President of Diwan of Endowments of Christians, Ezidi and Sabian Mandean Religions, in addition to Priests and Nuns who came from different Dioceses around the country.
Special thanks to the Governor of Nineveh Mr. Nawfal Al-Aaqoob and other officials of the Governorate for their presence.
Following the installation Ceremony, the new Archbishop of Mosul and Akre was taken for a tour in Mosul, where they have more than one stop to visit Al-Qalaah (Al-Meedan) with its’ 4 Churches, the well- known Church of Al-Saa’a, and finally the Church of our lady of Perpetual Help in Dawaasah, where His Beatitude served during his priesthood. Afterword, the convoy headed to Karamlis, joined by its’ people who were waiting at the entrance of the town in a festive procession to Mar Adday Church, where Monsignor Thabet Paulus Habeeb welcomed everyone and His Beatitude Patriarch Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako celebrated the mass together with the two newly ordained Bishops, Michaeel Najeeb Michaeel and Robert Saeed Jarjis, and an active participation of the whole crowd.
Thank God for His Blessings,