ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Church publishes salaries of bishops and priests

Thursday, 25 August 2022 middle east   oriental churches   area crisis   pastoral   transparency   church properties

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of the Chaldean Church, gathered in Baghdad on the occasion of the annual Synodal Assembly, have, among other things, established and published the salary levels for bishops and priests of all Chaldean dioceses. "It has been decided," according to the official channels of the Chaldean Patriarchate, "that the monthly salaries of Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako and members of the Chaldean bishopric hierarchy will be 1.6 million Iraqi dinars ($1,050 equivalent) from September next year, while the Priests' salaries will be set at 1.2 million Iraqi dinars (about $850 USD)." The bishops also reaffirmed the absolute gratuitousness of the services provided by the dioceses. The offering of the Mass should continue to go to the diocesan fund.
As early as March 2013, a few days after taking office, Patriarch Sako issued a communiqué in which he called on all those responsible for institutions associated with the Chaldean Church to observe the criteria of fairness and transparency when managing financial resources . In this regard, he had recommended following the procedures laid down in the accounting laws and submitting all financing projects to the Patriarchate, which should assess their coherence and feasibility, also from an economic point of view.
In his speech at the opening of the annual Chaldean Synod (see Fides, 23/8/2022), Cardinal Sako explicitly referred to the negative impact of the global economic crisis and the current international situation on the network of charitable and social works supported by the Churches in the Middle East. "The economic resources of the dioceses," added the Chaldean Patriarch, "are limited. The charities that have helped us are now focusing their efforts on Ukraine…Even the students of our schools have difficulty paying their fees".
The Synod of the Chaldean Church is made up of Patriarch Sako and 25 Bishops. The synodal assembly currently taking place in Baghdad, chaired by the Patriarch, is attended by 17 bishops, who were also received by Iraqi President Barham Salih on Tuesday 23 August (see photo), while 7 bishops - including some bishops from diaspora communities – have canceled their participation for health reasons. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 25/8/2022)