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Patriarchal Decree

The translation of the Patriarchal Decree

The original is in Arabic


Introduction

Before the ordained, the “Priest” announces the offering of his whole life to God and the Church. It is an offering grounded in the obedience to the superiors without any conservation. The ministry that has been delegated to him by the bishop, successor of the Apostles is holy and the priest has to remain faithful to it during his whole life. For monks, the vows are absolute; chastity, obedience, and poverty. Looking for substitutes is considered a grave violation to the vows .

Priest’s Primary Duties

Keeping the faith complete, building up the Mystical Body of Christ, and enhancing the unity of the Church (Patriarchate-Eparchy) under the guidance of the local ordinary, serving where the Church sends the priest not where he wishes to serve. This is a successive tradition since the Apostolic Age.

In the Byzantine liturgy, the Patriarch breaks the host to four portions. He gives one of them to a newly ordained priest as a symbol of unity and as well as communion. These are fundamental values that should never fade because of personal interests!

We have bright examples of priests from our days that give us eloquent faith lessons like the priests who shed their blood for sake of the flock: Hana Qasha (Village of Suria), Ragheed Ganni and Bishop Paulus Faraj Rahho (Mosul), and the priests who have been kidnapped yet stayed in their country and churches as well as the priests who have been expelled from their places yet they have journeyed with their flock!

I remind you, brothers, of Jesus’ saying, “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:25. I also remind you that the Church is a mother and a teacher, a mother who loves her children but does not spoil them, and a teacher who raise, remind, guide, and correct the path of her children with responsibility.

With regard to some of the priest who minister outside their eparchies I would like to allude to the fact that we have documents from their bishops other than the documents they have published on different internet websites. From the bottom of my heart I personally forgive all the insulting words that have been directed to myself from some of them. May the merciful God forgive them. Right at the end will prevail.

On a related note, I would like to thank Fr. Paulus Khuzeran who decided to go back from USA to the monastery and obey his superiors and also Yousif Lazghin from Australia on 4/11/2014 .

Decree

Based on what have been previously stated and according to the Canon Law and monastic regulations mentioned in our second letter, also after consulting with the permanent synod and informing the Congregation of the Oriental Churches, and in accordance with the monastic context,

We have decreed,

That the following monks and priests shall be suspended from practicing priestly ministry;

First- The Monks

1. Noel Istepho Gorgis

2. Andraws Gorgis Toma

3. Oraha Qardagh Mansour

4. Patros Solaqa

5. Fady Isho Hanna (submitted a request to the Congregation of the Oriental Churches to be a diocesan priest and he will still be suspended until the approval is received).

6. Ayob Shawkat Adwar who immigrated recently to Canada.

Second- The Priests

1. Fareed Kena, from the Eparchy of Alqosh and he is suspended by Msgr. Michael Maqdasi, Bishop of Alqosh over a year ago.

2. Faris Yaqo Maroghi, from the Eparchy of Alqosh and he is suspended by Msgr. Michael Maqdasi, Bishop of Alqosh over a year ago.

3. Peter (Petros) Lawrance, from the Eparchy of Basrah then Baghdad. Msgr. Habib Al-Nawfali, Archbishop of Basrah has sent the letter of suspension to the Patriarchate.

4. Remon Hameed, from the Eparchy of Baghdad.

5. Hurmiz Petros Haddad, from the Eparchy of Baghdad.

6. Yousif (Lazgeen) Abdulahad, from the Eparchy of Zakho and Amadiya. Msgr. Rabban Alqas, Bishop of Zakho and Amadiya has sent the letter of suspension to the Patriarchate.

If these diocesan priests will return, their status will be reviewed. For monks, there is no other option but to return to their monastery and canonically correct their status.

At the end of this decree I would like to ask all the bishops to adhere to the Canon Law, enforce order, and keep the centralization in the Church and Eparchies. I assure that this decision is not an act against a certain Eparchy for the priests are in the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden. The objective of our decree is to end the illegal exit of the priests from their eparchies. This decree has come after several, unfortunately unfruitful, ultimatums and attempts from the former church authority and the Chaldean Order superior.

It should be mentioned that if this decree is not published confusion will occur and rumors will spread. Today’s Church, away from compliments, relativity and ambiguity counts on explicitly revealing the truths to all and not hide them so that the people may know the truth and have confidence in the Church. All in all it is about a follow up and governance away from being merely sensational journalism.

We plead to all to pray for the Chaldean Church and her progress for the Glory of God and the good of her children.

+ Louis Raphael I Sako

Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon

The translation of the Patriarchal Decree

The original is in Arabic

عن Yousif

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