Tuesday, 15 October 2013

"If you come back, we can utilize your skills and knowledge” - Chaldean Patriarch

The Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Mar Raphael-louis Sako, Has encouraged believers in the diaspora to return to their original homeland. (source)

While the statement in the title is true. I must mention that we Eastern Catholics in the diaspora must play a very important part in the evangelisation of the greater world. God has put us here in the West. We have integrated, been educated, learnt the languages and understood the cultures. We now are now 'in the world' of the West.

Eastern Christianity emphasises things that the Western Tradition  does not. For example: the profound mystery of the Trinity, beautiful liturgies and the coming down of the Holy Spirit.

I believe God has put us here in the West so that we can share our traditions, spirituality and theology, so that the Catholic Church may breath in two lungs and re-evangelise the West. The Eastern Churches (especially those belonging to the Syriac traditions) have in and of themselves charisms that the early Church had. This, I believe will be important in the conversion of the Protestants.

While I am in principle against emigration from the Middle East (and that is easy to say considering I live in the diaspora). I am not in support of integrated Eastern Christians physically returning home to their motherland. Rather, what must happen, is that Eastern Christians must spiritually; theologically; and liturgically return to their home and origin. So that they can share this spirituality; theology; and liturgy, which ultimately proclaim Christ, with others.

Through the prayers of the Birth-Giver of God Maryam and Mor Ephrem, God Bless you.


  1. Yes this should be a matter of great concern.

    We should always seek to maintain a strong and visible Christian presence in the lands that were once the cradle of the Church. Furthermore even though the West may be safer for our mortal bodies, Christians there are more prone to losing their immortal souls by succumbing to the godless, decadent and degenerate culture that has ensnared these nations.

    Christians in the Middle East should be seeking to rechristianise their nations through lives of holiness, conversions wherever possible and by raising large, faithful families.

  2. I happen to agree with Mar Louis-Raphael in his position. The same idea has been around in Maronite circles [SIZE="1"](at one time in the late 1980s, the current Patriarch was a champion of it)[/SIZE], but obviously hasn't met with much success.

    Sure, many of us are in the diaspora, some of born here, but our roots will always and ever be in the Middle East. The problem is the constant exodus of our people from our homelands, which lessens our presence and gives the conquering invaders what they were unable to achieve for 1500 years: the elimination of the Christians. and that is something that we really cannot let happen. I've said this many times, but we weathered the Byzantines (and farther east, the Persians); we weathered the Arabs; we weathered the Ottomans, and then the Brits [SIZE="1"](the French were, at least, friendly and non-confrontational, so I won't include France here)[/SIZE], but in the past 40-some years we've had US interference and I don't know if we can weather that. As of result of that latest interference, our numbers are now substantially shrunken. To restore both stability and an effective Christian presence, whether it be in Iraq, or Lebanon, or Syria, our people have to begin to regain their abandoned homelands. It won't be easy. But Mar Louis-Raphael is right: our people have to try.

  3. From what I see, many Christians from the Middle East have a really hard time keeping their holy traditions here in the West. Materialism and obsession with beauty is the main danger, but I have also seen the Liturgy being destroyed. Could it be because the churches here are not built for your Liturgy, or could it be because of minimalistic influences of European/American Priests and parishes?

    Thanks for a great blog by the way! I really enjoy reading it and I am very happy that I found it!

    /A Latin Catholic

  4. Very profound and insightful post: in de-christianised europe especially, this battle must be fought by the new apostles from the heart of Catholicism. It leads to the question "How can we convert the Muslims?" Perhaps a later post can provide inspiration.