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.
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.