The Pope’s message to Mar Dinkha IV, the Catholicos of the Assyrian Church, was timed for the 50th anniversary of the Iraqi prelate’s ordination as a bishop. Mar Dinkha IV now makes the headquarters of the Assyrian Church in Chicago, because so many of his followers have been driven out of Iraq, where the Assyrian Church is historically centered.
In his message Pope Benedict recalled the Common Declaration on Christology released by the Holy See and the Assyrian Church of the East in 1994, resolving old theological controversies. He promised that the two churches would pursue their “common journey toward the re-establishment of full communion.”
“I thank the Lord for the many blessings he has bestowed on the Assyrian Church of the East through your ministry, and I am grateful for your commitment to promoting constructive dialogue, fruitful cooperation and growing friendship between our Churches”.
“I wish also to reiterate my solidarity with the Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, praying that effective forms of common witness to the Gospel and pastoral collaboration in the service of peace, reconciliation and unity may be deepened between the Catholic and Assyrian faithful”.
The Holy Father concludes his letter by invoking the blessings of the Blessed Trinity upon the Patriarch.