The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, has sent a message of condolence to His Beatitude Raphael Louis Sako I, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, following the death of his predecessor, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly.
Cardinal Filoni recalled having lived with Patriarch Delly in Baghdad and Rome. “I remember the human and fraternal manner he welcomed me every time we met, the closeness and tribulations for the beloved country Iraq, the concerns for our Christians, hopes for the Chaldean Church.”
“Heedless of the danger, he wanted to remain in Baghdad, with his faithful, always: as a priest of God, as Bishop of the Diocese of Baghdad, as Patriarch. Exemplary in his human dignity and ecclesial life. Our Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as head of the Pontifical Urban College, remembers him with esteem and I pray that the Lord whom he served with fidelity will grant him eternal rest.”
Born 27 September, 1927, in Tel Keppe, Iraq, Emmanuel Karim Delly was ordained to the priesthood in 1952, ordained bishop in 1963, and was created cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in 2007. He served as Patriarch of the Chaldean Church from 2003 until his retirement in 2012. He passed away in San Diego, California, on Tuesday, at the age of 86.
Cardinal Filini offered particular thanks to the reigning Patriarch, “and to all those who took care of him, especially in these last years of his life.”
“The consoling words of Jesus that Patriarch Delly listened to in his encounter with the Lord: ‘Come, good and faithful servant, enter into the house of thy Lord’, are for all of us consolation and support. I am sure that now he will be even closer to his/our Chaldean Church and will intercede for its own good, for the Sanctification of Priests, Religious men and women, and for the protection of all Christians.”