On the 4th of July, 1948, Mar Louis Rafael Sako was born in the City of Zakhoo. In 1963, he was enrolled in the Institute of Mar Youhanna Al-Habeeb (Saint John the Beloved), in the City of Mosul. On 1st of May, 1974, he was ordained as a Priest in Chaldean Archdiocese in the City of Mosul. In 1983, he obtained a PhD Degree in the specialty of: “Fathers of the Church” from the Papal University, Rome. In 1984, he obtained an MSc Degree in the specialty of “Islamic Philology”. In 1986 he obtained a PhD Degree in the specialty of “Ancient History of Iraq” from the University of Sorbon, Paris. He served in the Church of “Um Al-Ma’oona” (Mother of Perpetual help) in the City of Mosul for a period of 11 years. In 1997, he filled a position of “Director of Patriarchate Pastoral Institute” in Baghdad until 2001, and he was a Teacher in Babylon Pontiff College. On the 14th of November, 2003, he was ordained as a Bishop for Chaldean Archdiocese in Kirkuk City. Mar Louis was appointed as a Counselor of Papal Council for the dialogue between the Religions. He published several articles and a great number of researches in local and worldwide publications, and wrote more than 200 articles. He had also written more than 20 books. He is a Member in Pro-Orienty Organization for the sake of the East located in Austria. He speaks the following Languages: Aramaic, Arabic, Italian, French and Germany. The Synod of the Bishops of the Chaldean Church which was held in Rome on the 28th of January, 2013 had chosen the President of Kirkuk Bishops, His Holiness Bishop Louis Sako, to be the new Patriarch for the Chaldean Church, bearing a name of Mar Louis Rafael Sako, a Successor to the resigned Patriarch Cardinal Mar Emmanuel III Delly. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI had confirmed him in the new position on 1st of February, 2013 and he was set-up as a Patriarch on the 6th of March, 2013 .
The Motto of our Father the Patriarch is:
· Originality, i.e. the excellent commencement at its real and fundamental entity.
· Unity, where the divisions in our ecclesiastical history is due to the narrow-minded fanatic isolationist who protects himself with a Dogmatic Cover.
· Renovation, the “Rule of Life”, on the understanding that a Human-being is a living creature who grows and renovates.
The Chaldean Catholic Church
It is a church which belongs to the Catholic Eastern Churches which collects independent churches that are from Eastern Origin, and which preserve its traditions and celebrations, and confesses by the authority of Pope of Rome. Saint Thomas had carried the seeds of Christian Faith to the country which is located between the Two Rivers, which is called Mesopotamia (“Ma Bain AL-Nahrain” in Arabic Language). Saint Addai and Saint Mary were educated by him, and they were the first Two Pillars of “The Church of the East” that was established in the First Century. The Chaldean Church was established in the Fifteenth Century as a result to the dissension that took place in the Eastern Church. The Chaldean Church was dissented from the Eastern Church in 1552, when a Group of Bishops refused the Heritage Serial, then they held a meeting in the Governorate of Arbeel, and selected Mar Youhanan VIII Sulaqa as their Patriarch. Following this procedure, he had travelled to Rome, and at that time Pope Julius III announced that Youhanan VIII Sulaqa is the Patriarch for the Babylon Patriarchate of Chaldean, bearing the name of “Chaldean Church” in order to distinguish its followers from the followers of the Eastern Church, those who didn’t change to Catholic. The Church is also called “Babylon Church” and its center is in Baghdad. The Official Language of Chaldean Church is Syriac, but it is in the Eastern accent, and it is of Aramaic descendant, the language of our Lord Jesus Christ. Most of Iraqi Chaldeans speak Syriac Language. The followers of Chaldean Church inhabit for the time being in Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, in addition to the migrants who are living in Europe America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
The Catholic Chaldean Church Today
Many of the children of this church left their country on their way to United States of America, Michigan City in particular, and others migrated to Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe. The Chaldean Church and the rest of Christians in Iraq were exposed to several attacks following the War of Iraq which led to the migration of most of its population from Baghdad and Mosul to the villages of Nineva’s Plain and Kurdistan Province in Northern part of Iraq, in addition to the migration of great number of them to Syria, United States and Europe. The Chaldean Church is a Member in the Council of the Churches of Middle East, and its present Patriarch is Mar Louis Rafael Sako.
Mr Shawket Zaia Murad
Member of NewZealand Society of Translators and Interpreters
Member of the International Federation of Translators
Auckland/ NewZealand on 8th of May 2013