Chaldean Catholic Church

From Academic Kids

The Chaldean Catholic Church is an Eastern Rite church, retaining autonomy and distinct identity within the Catholic Communion while remaining in full communion with the Pope in Rome.

It descends from the Nestorian Assyrian Church of the East. In the 15th century the Assyrian church decreed that the title of Patriarch could pass only to relatives of then-patriarch Mar Shimun IV. Dissent over this grew until in 1552, a group of bishops refused to accept the hereditary succession of an untrained boy to the Patriarchy.

They elected Mar Yohanan Soulaqa VIII, the superior of an abbey, as a rival Patriarch. Soulaqa travelled to Rome and met with the Pope, eventually reentering into communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Assyrian Church now had two rival leaders, a hereditary patriarch in Alqosh (in modern-day northern Iraq), and a Papal-appointed patriarch in Diyarbakir (in modern-day eastern Turkey). This situation lasted until 1662 when the Patriarch in Diyarbakir, Mar Shimun XIII Denha, broke communion with Rome, and moved his seat to the village of Qochanis in the Turkish mountains. The Vatican responded by appointing a new patriarch to Diyarbakir to govern the Assyrians who stayed loyal to the Holy See. This group became known as the Chaldean Catholic Church. In 1804 the hereditary line of Patriarchs in Alqosh died out, and that church's hierarchy decided to accept the authority of the Chaldean patriarchs.

The communion with Rome was not final until 1830, when Pius VIII confirmed John Hormizdas as head of Chaldean Catholics, carrying the title "Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans."

The church's relations with the Assyrian Church of the East have improved in recent years. A meeting in 1996 between Mar Dinkha IV of the Assyrian Church and Mar Raphael I Bidawad of the Chaldean Catholic Church began an effort to bring the two churches into eventual communion.

The current Patriarch is Emmanuel III Delly, elected in 2003 on the death of Mar Bidawad.

There has been a large emigration to the United States particularly to Michigan. The church's most famous member was Saddam Hussein's most senior foreign minister, Tariq Aziz.

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