Monday, June 05, 2006

Assyrian Delegation Visits Two Roman Dicasteries

By mandate of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, a delegation of the Assyrian Church visited two Roman dicasteries (Vatican offices) responsible for ecumenical affairs with other Churches.

The Assyrian delegation was comprised of:
1) His Grace Mar Meelis Zaia, Bishop of Australia & New Zealand and Secretary of the Holy Synod and the president of the Assyrian Church’s commission on dialogue;
2) His Grace Mar Odisho Oraham, Bishop of Europe and the Diocese of Western California;
3) Rev. William Toma, student at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Rome);
4) Rev. David Royel, Mar Yousip Parish (San Jose) priest and assistant parish-priest of St. Mary’s (Los Angeles); and
5) Rev. Polos Benjamin, student at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Rome).

On Thursday, April 26 the Assyrian delegation headed by His Grace Mar Meelis met with His Eminence Mar Moussa I Daoud, the Cardinal-Prefect of the Oriental Congregation. This Vatican dicastery (office) is responsible for the Oriental (Eastern) Catholic Churches, that is, those in communion with the See of Rome. The Cardinal was made aware of certain improper actions on the part of some clergy of one of the Eastern Catholic Churches in the affairs of the Assyrian Church. The colloquium with the Cardinal was very congenial and he was very happy to have received the Assyrian delegation. He further extended his heartfelt greetings to His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV.

On the same morning, the Assyrian delegation met with His Eminence Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. This Vatican office is directly responsible for dialogue with other non-Catholic Churches. The Assyrian Church has been engaged in dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church through this dicastery since 1984 when His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV met with the late His Holiness Pope John Paul II and formally requested that dialogue ensue between our two Churches.

Cardinal Kasper was very happy to receive the Assyrian delegation and in turn extended his greetings to His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV and the entire Synod of the Assyrian Church. In this colloquium, the Assyrian delegation apprised the Cardinal of certain matter that directly concerned the dialogue between Rome and the Assyrian Church.

Both Churches reiterated their readiness to continue and improve the dialogue in the hope of a fruitful and satisfactory result. The Cardinal assured the Assyrian delegation of the Roman Catholic Church’s goodwill and intention of continuing the dialogue, and in improving it in many ways. The meeting ended on a very hopeful and congenial note.

His Grace Mar Meelis apprised His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV about the fruitful results of both meetings, and concerning the very lively hope of continuing the dialogue between the Assyrian Church of the East and the Roman Catholic Church.


Anonymous said...

Excellent site. Thank you for all these great articles who are always up to date. Keep up the great work and God bless you for your hardwork and dedication.

Acoe 1 said...

Dear AssyrianPost Editor,

First of all, indeed a great site, if not the best in terms of having one overall view of current articles. AssyrianPost is like "The One Stop Shop" for reading everything pertaining to the current news of ACOE.

I want to make one note, I think the visit by our Bishops is indeed a very psotiive one. I believe those against ACOE (May God judge them) have wanted to isolate ACOE from the Vatican and weaken the relathionship, by spreading propaganda that stirrs up trouble amongst our people. But I am elated to see that our Patriarchical Council are not falling into the trap setup for them, and forging ahead with maintaining good relathionship with other Chruches, particluar the Catholic church. His Holiness Mar Dinkah (God bless our nation for having such a holy man at the helm) has tried very hard to build relathionships with other Churches, and it would be sad if we had let go of that because of some rumour or propaganda spread to confuse our beloved ACOE members.

This meeting sets the record straight, and it shows that the Catholic Church is willing to engage in real brotherly dialog.

And so far as "Full Communion" even other eastern churches, or eastern rite churches, are not in "full communion" because they continue to have a Patriarch, this is because the Vatican has 2 Codexes, one for Eastern rite, and hence they are allowed to have their own leadership and autonomy through their own Patriarch, while the other Codex is for the western world, like Europe and Latin, where they are in communion based ont he Western Version of the Codex.

"Full communion" is a Thesis yet (some tried and didnt get far) to be proven, it is a theory that cannot work in practice, particulalry for Easter Churches, again, there are Eastern Churches for the last 500 years have yet to revert the Patriarchical seat to a Cardinal seat. Vatican understands very well the intricacies of this issue and hence the need of a Seocnd Codex that accommodates these.