ERBIL, Iraq — In response to the issuing of a Republican Decree by Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid removing recognition of Roman Catholic Cardinal and Chaldean Patriarch Mor Louis Raphael Sako as the head of the Chaldean Church and responsible for the Church’s endowment, Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil Mar Bashar Matti Warda held a press conference to express his firm support for the Patriarch amidst the campaign targeting him. Following the revoking of the Patriarch’s authority over the Church’s endowments, he was summoned to the investigation court.
During the press conference, Archbishop Warda voiced his regret regarding the decision and highlighted the need for further clarifications regarding the decree and its underlying reasons. He questioned the grounds on which the decree was issued and emphasized that such measures should have been communicated to the Church in a more amicable manner, considering the significance of the Chaldean Patriarch’s role.
Furthermore, Archbishop Warda emphasized that the Patriarch plays a vital role in representing the Church in all legal matters before both civil and ecclesiastical authorities. The Patriarch maintains constructive communication with civil authorities through agreements aimed at preserving the integrity of Church affairs, including personal status issues and the management of Church properties. These efforts serve to safeguard the funds of the faithful and secure the sanctity of endowments, enhancing their spiritual engagement.
Concluding his press conference, Archbishop Warda expressed hope for a compassionate initiative from the President Rashid. He conveyed the profound pain, sadness, and anger felt by Chaldeans worldwide and Iraqi Christians in general in response to these measures. The community yearns for resolution and reconciliation in this delicate matter that has deeply affected them.