Iraqi Prime Minister al-Sudani reappoints Cardinal Louis Sako as Chaldean Patriarch

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani issued a decree on Tuesday reappointing Roman Catholic Cardinal and Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael Sako as the head of the Chaldean Church and responsible for the Church’s endowment nearly a year after Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid removed recognition of Patriarch Sako via a Republican Decree.

“Based on the 5th item of the 1st Article of the Religious Denominations Care System No. (32) of 1981 and referring to the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in Al-Rusafa / Karrada Personal Status Court No. 4/Guardianship Appointment 2013 on 2013/4/30, appointing the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church as a guardian of its endowments, we have decided to name Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako as Chaldean Patriarch in Iraq and the world,” read the decree.

The decree further mandated the implementation of the endowment guardianship issued by the aforementioned court, confirming Patriarch Sako as the guardian of the Chaldean Church’s endowments. Relevant authorities were instructed to take necessary actions accordingly.

On 8 July 2023, Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid issued a presidential decree revoking Decree No. (147) of 2013, which had recognized Patriarch Sako as Patriarch of the Chaldean Church.

In April 2024, Sako announced his return to his seat in the capital, Baghdad, following an invitation from Prime Minister al-Sudani. He had left the Patriarchal Residence in Baghdad following President Rashid’s revocation of the Republican Decree, residing in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) for the past year.

Sako stated that he endured nearly a year of suffering, pain, and anxiety during his absence from Baghdad.