Erbil (Agenzia Fides) - "We will also go to Tbilisi to receive the Pope. After celebrating our Synod, at least 13 Chaldean Bishops will be present at the meeting that the Bishop of Rome will have in Georgia with the Assyrian-Chaldean community". This is what the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I reported to Agenzia Fides. "For all of us", adds the Primate of the Chaldean Church "the meeting with the Successor of Peter will be a powerful moment, and we will live it to be confirmed in faith, hope and even in the choice to persevere and stay in our tormented land".
In the official program of the upcoming visit to Georgia, in the late afternoon of Friday, September 30, there will also be a meeting between Pope Francis and the Assyrian-Chaldean community in this former Soviet Republic. The meeting will take place in the church of San Simone Bar Sabbae. "About 10 thousand faithful of our Church live in Georgia", refers Patriarch Louis Raphael to Fides. On that occasion, in addition to the Bishops, even many priests and faithful will travel from Iraq to Tbilisi to see the Pope. He cannot come to us for the difficult and dramatic situation we are experiencing, therefore we will go to him".
Before moving to Tbilisi, the Chaldean Bishops will participate in the Synod of their Church, to be held in Erbil (Iraqi Kurdistan) from 21 to 28 September, where they will discuss important issues such as the emigration of Christians from the Middle East, the beatification of Chaldean martyrs, the political and administrative future of the Nineveh Plain. The Synod will be preceded by a spiritual retreat - to which all Chaldean priests in Iraq have been invited – in which the central idea will be on reflection and spiritual discernment on the theme of mercy. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 13/09/2016)