Middle East Council of Churches

Unofficial news from the Middle Eastern Christian Ecumenical organization.

Maintained by Tom Scudder

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Monday, November 03, 2003
Daily telegraph: Iraq's Christians run gauntlet of anti-US hostility:
Hostile sounds of a city in revolt drift over the iron gate as one of the last Christian families in Ramadi, a hotbed of Islamic resistance in post-Saddam Iraq, prepares for lunch.

Before the war, the Oro family ran a popular entertainment empire, serving alcohol in their restaurants and shops. Now, an Islamic fatwa declares that no one should trade in alcohol on pain of death.

The big casino and dance hall that was once the flagship of the family's 15-strong property portfolio has been taken over by bearded men who plan to turn it into Ramadi's premier mosque.

"Fifty years I was working with drink and now I have nothing," said David Younan Oro, the 70-year-old patriarch, his voice trailing off. "They drink like donkeys here. Business was good. I had a lot of restaurants and shops. Now my family tell me they want to kill me for keeping them here in this place."

posted by Tom at 3:55 PM

New Chaldean Patriarch to be selected in December

From Zenit.org:

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 29, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II called the Synod of the Bishops of the Chaldean Church to meet Dec. 2-3 in the Vatican to elect the new patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans.

The Pope's decision came in virtue of Canon 72 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, explained Vatican press office director JoaquĆ­n Navarro-Valls. The patriarchal see of the Chaldean Church is in Baghdad, Iraq.

The 22 bishops of the synod met in August to appoint the successor of Patriarch Raphael Bidawid, who died July 7. Such a process followed the custom of the Eastern patriarchal churches.

Canon 72 provides for the election by a two-thirds vote in the first ballot or by an absolute majority after a certain number of votes. If the election does not take place in the first 15 days from the opening of the synod, Paragraph 2 of the canon establishes that the case goes to the Roman Pontiff.

I'm not sure how they can say they'll meet for two days if there's provision for the synod going on fifteen days before the Pontiff is allowed to step in.
posted by Tom at 3:43 PM