Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Synod Decision Sent to the Former Bishop

His Grace Mar Bawai Soro
Bishop of the Western Diocese of California

Assyrian Church of the East Receive our greetings in Christ:The tenth Holy Synod met from Monday, October 31st through Monday, November 7, 2005 under the pastoral guidance of Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicus Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East and in the presence of the following pastors:

H.G. Mar Narsai, Metropolitan of Lebanon, Syria, Europe and the Patriarchal Representative.
H.G. Mar Aprim, Metropolitan of Malabar and of all India
H.G. Mar Gewargis Sleewa, Metropolitan of Iraq and Jordan
H.G. Mar Aprim, Bishop of Western United States
H.G. Mar Meelis Zia, Bishop of Australia, New Zealand, and secretary of the Synod
H.G. Mar Bawai Soro, Bishop of Western California
H.G. Mar Emanuel Yosip, Bishop of Canada
H.G. Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop of Europe
H.G. Mar Aprim Nathaniel, Bishop of Syria
H.G. Mar Eskhaq Yosip, Bishop of Nuhadra (Iraq) and Russia

In this Synod and in your presence, you were informed that the Synodical decision was reached with the general approval in regard to those two illegal letters dated April 2, 2005 and July 30, 2005 which you wrote to His Holiness the Patriarch. The Synod also studied the complaint against you made by members of Mar Yosip Parish in San Jose.

In both of your letters, you are presumptuously blaming the head of the church, His Holiness the Patriarch of the Apostolic Seat of Seleucia-Ctesiphon and Peter of our times, whom the Synod clearly gives him the authority over all the dioceses of the Assyrian Church of the East. And you say that he has broken the canonical laws and you further say that His Holiness has been the cause of division in the California dioceses especially in the San Jose parish even though His Holiness wrote you and gave you his fatherly advice in his patriarchal letter dated July 2, 2005 in which he states thus:

“Problems, inconveniences, and rejection of changes that you are making in that parish exist between you and the members of the parish. You as the responsible and spiritual father of that parish, you are capable to resolve those issues with ease by adopting the path that Christ has thought us to guide in a humble spirit, with love, wisdom and forgiveness.”

But in your letter you have thus answered his Holiness:

“You have always worked against me and have agitated people to oppose my thinking. You have openly used the politics of divide and rule in the San Jose Parish and California…… thus your unlawful actions have driven Christ out of the church because you are using human thinking.”

You also dared to impose conditions on His Holiness in regard to his performance relative to Mar Yosip parish in San Jose and said:

“Please listen to the advice of bishops and priests, for the sake of keeping peace and harmony between us and in the church. I suggest that you do not come now to visit the city of San Jose parish, in order to avoid further increase of confusion and unpleasantness.

”Tus, His Holiness did not celebrate communion there as it was expected, for this and other unlawful acts that you have taken by which you have broken the synodical cannons of the Assyrian Church of the East and the cannons of Mar Dadesho, Mar Eskhaq, and the Universalists. (See Mar Odisho’s Collection of Synodical canons, Section 9, paragraph 5)

’You forgot your confession read on the day that you were ordained in Mar Gewargis Church in Chicago October 23, 1984 in which you promised to be faithful and respectful to the fatherly seat of Seleucia-Ctesiphon.

It was further asked of you by the Holy Synod that a committee of clergy is sent to your diocese to investigate and find a peaceful way to resolve the problems that exist between you and the parish in San Jose. This was the help that was offered to you by the Holy Synod. Your response was total rejection of this suggestion. Because of this and by means of this synodical letter, we are formally informing your grace about the decisions of the Holy Synod under the leadership of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, said decision was unanimously approved by all the members of the synod on Saturday, November 5, 2005. These were read to you in your presence but you asked that they be given to you in writing. Thus the letter is being delivered to you by hand. The decisions of the Holy Synod are that you select one of these three:

1. The Holy Synod has been informed that there is a great need for a bishop to assume the responsibility of managing the dioceses of Iran and Russia, and we are asking you to assume this responsibility as soon as possible, or,

2. Yosip Parish in San Jose between you and the parish. This suspension is for a period of two years and you shall be a suspended bishop. This West California Diocese will be managed temporarily by a temporary committee consisting of priests and church members of that parish selected by two bishops who will represent the Holy Synod under the guidance of His Holiness the Patriarch and with the advice of the priests of Western California Diocese. It is also expected from your grace that during this period of two years you will not interfere in the management of that diocese or any other diocese and also:

a. You will not write letters of blame or complaint or talk against the decisions of the Holy Synod as the Cannon laws instruct.

b. You will not hold meetings about this subject or other subjects related to the church affairs

c. You will not appear on radio or TV programs or deliver any speeches in any media. Or other activities that may stir debates or division among the followers of the church in the world.

d. You will cooperate with the representatives of the Holy Synod by providing them with all accounting books and deeds of the properties of the Western California diocese.

e. You have no permission to communicate with other churches about subjects that are relative to the interrelationship of the Assyrian church of the East and other churches. You shall not take part in any programs after the decisions taken by the Holy Synod.

f. The Assyrian Church of the East will pay you a monthly salary as it has been recommended by the temporary committee of the diocese. You shall have permission to participate in all church services of the Assyrian church of the East and you shall not have the permission to ordain anyone. During your suspension, if you do not comply with the points outlined in paragraph A thru F, then your bishopric authority will be suspended.

3. If you do not comply with one of the two points mentioned in paragraph 1 and 2, then the Holy Synod regretfully asks you to submit your resignation from the office of the bishop all in all.

We shall wait for your written response on these decisions until Friday, November 11, 2005 before 12:00 noon;

Send your response to the Patriarchal office via facsimile (1-847-966-0012) or to the above address. And if you do not respond, then the Holy Synod is suspending you from the office of bishop in the Assyrian Church of the East.

In conclusion, we expect your response and we wish you good health for body and soul.

May the grace of Lord Jesus Christ be with all of us.

Written in the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East
Chicago, Illinois
Monday, November 7, 2005

Names of Prelates signing this decision

1) Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East
2) Mar Narsai DeBaz, Metropolitan of Lebanon, Syria & Europe
3) Mar Aprem (of India), Metropolitan of Malabar and All India
4) Mar Gewargis Sliwa, Metropolitan of Iraq
5) Mar Aprem Khamis, Bishop of Western United States
6) Mar Meelis Zaia, Bishop of Australia and New Zealans, Secretary of the Holy Synod
7) Mar Emanuel Yosip, Bishop of Canada
8) Mar Odisho Auraham, Bishop of Europe
9) Mar Afram Nathniel, Bishop of Syria10) Mar Isaac Yosip, Bishop of Nohadra (Iraq) and Russia

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