Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - Today the Synod of the Patriarchal Church of Babylon of the Chaldeans has started in Rome, convened by Pope Benedict XVI for the election of the new Patriarch. The presidency of the Synod – at the house for spiritual exercises of Saints Giovanni e Paolo al Celio, run by the Passionist Fathers - is entrusted to Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, who opened the proceedings with a speech in which he called for the illumination of the Holy Spirit on the choices that the Chaldean Bishops are called to carry out. "Each of their Excellencies - he said - is equally responsible for the patriarchal election results, especially in the delicate historical moment: the future of the Chaldean Church and its tradition and heritage, the understanding of the times and ecclesial situations, historical and social, development of pastoral guidelines and their applications."
Today, a Lectio Divina is scheduled for the Chaldean Bishops led by Bishop Enrico dal Covolo, Rector of the Pontifical Lateranense University, and a lecture by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization. Tomorrow, January 29, will be reserved for discussions and exchanges of views on the situation of the Chaldean Church. From Wednesday 30 voting will start, which will take place in accordance with the rules laid down by the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches. Fifteen Chaldean Bishops will take part in the Synod, besides Iraq, Iran (2), United States (2), Lebanon (1), Syria (1), Australia (1), Canada (1). (GV) (Agenzia Fides 28/01/2013)