Chaldean Synod to Focus on Iraq and Liturgy

BAGHDAD, Iraq, NOV. 3. 2005 ( The future of Iraq’s Christians and liturgical reform will be high on the agenda of a special Synod of the Chaldean Church, set to be held Nov. 8-12 at the Vatican.

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The date was confirmed today for AsiaNews by Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Andraos Abouna of Baghdad.

The Chaldean bishops coming from Iraq and elsewhere will meet behind closed doors. Usually the bishops come together once a year; however, the urgency of the Iraqi situation has prompted the holding of a second synod after the one in Iraq at the start of 2005.

Father Philip Najim, an official in the patriarchate, said the bishops will also discuss reform of the Chaldean liturgy and the law.

Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk said that urgent matters include setting up a «direct line» of the Church to make proposals «with courage» to the government; studying the problem of migration; and how to counter the «growing proselytism of evangelical churches in Iraq.»

Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly said the «new evangelicals» who arrived after the war seem more committed to collecting money from foreign rich donors rather than spreading the Gospel.

Chaldeans in Iraq number 550,000; another 150,000 are in eight dioceses around the world.

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