Pope Francis’ naming of Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako as cardinal is a gift to the Chaldean Catholic Church, which has been struggling in the face of terrorism, said an Iraqi archbishop.
Chaldean Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis of Kirkuk and Sulaimaniyah called Cardinal-designate Sako a “courageous voice.”
“He’s transparent in his way to guide our church and with his presence. He’s a very special man, spiritually,” Archbishop Mirkis told Catholic News Service, adding that under Patriarch Sako’s leadership there has been a particular focus on new vocations.
“The Catholic Church is a global church. We are Catholic and this nomination is a sign of our catholicity” as Chaldeans, Archbishop Mirkis added.
Cardinal-designate Sako, 69, is one of 14 new cardinals who will be elevated in a consistory at the Vatican on 29th June. Pope Francis made the announcement on 20th May, and Archbishop Mirkis told CNS the following day: “This is a gift from the pope to our church, all the Chaldean Church, which has been struggling against fanaticism and terrorism all these years and (is) especially meaningful since we gave many martyrs.”
Picture: Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, Iraq, celebrates a liturgy in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this 4th February 2013, file photo. Patriarch Sako was one of 14 new cardinals named by the pope May 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).