Baghdad ( Agenzia Fides) - The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I Sako sent a letter of congratulations to the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Dinkha IV on the occasion of his 78th birthday, celebrated on September 15. In the congratulatory message, Patriarch Sako addressed to the Head of the Assyrian Church also an eloquent official invitation to start a path of dialogue together to restore full ecclesial communion between the Chaldean Christian community - together with the Bishop of Rome - and the Assyrian community. "I take this opportunity", says His Beatitude Sako in his letter "to express the desire of the Chaldean Church to begin dialogue for unity, which is the desire of Jesus. The beginning of this dialogue is urgent today, in the face of great challenges that threaten our survival. Without unity, there is no future for us.
Unity can help to keep our presence(...). I put this trust, with sincere desire, in the hands of Your Holiness".
In the past there was theological dialogue between the Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Church as a whole, which in 1994 led to the drafting of a Common Christological Declaration in which Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Mar Dinkha IV acknowledged that they share the same faith in Jesus Christ and the mystery of Incarnation. So far, however, an ecumenical and ecclesiological bilateral agreement between the Chaldean Church and the Assyrian Church of the East, that share the same theological, liturgical and spiritual heritage, has never officially started. "If we have recognized confessing the same faith" explains to Fides Agency Patriarch Sako "at this point I am wondering what the obstacles to walk together towards the recognition of full unity among us are. Maybe a bit courage is needed in seeking the right method. I think of the possibility of joining together our synods, and confront each other on our common concerns, such as the escape of our faithful from the lands of origin and dissipate the secular heritage shared by our Churches. I await with trepidation the response of our Assyrian brothers". (GV) (Agenzia Fides September 16, 2013)