Saturday, 25 October 2014

Pope Francis - The reason why Eastern Catholics may become Orthodox

Throughout the last several decades. The Catholic Church has made huge strides towards healing old wounds with our Orthodox brethren. These include theological clarifications as well as political reunions.

These moves are commendable, as they decreased the divide between the Orthodox and the Catholics. The residue of these moves though, are quite interesting. As they put the Eastern Catholic churches in a very unique position.

 A few centuries before dialogue with the Orthodox, factions of these same Orthodox churches came into communion with Rome. They are today called the Eastern Catholic Churches. Many of these Eastern Catholic Churches joined and accepted Catholic theological terminology (although did not use them).

Monday, 25 August 2014

Mar Mari Emmanuel - Suspended (or excommunicated?)

It seems that the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East has suspended Mar Mari Emmanuel in Australia. Mar Mari is known for his vocal support of Christian Unity, claiming that the Blessed Virgin is in fact the Mother of God and for his love for the youth.

It is not clear what are the reasons for this suspension (or possible excommunication). There have been certain things floating around. Such as: missing out on Ramsho prayers, wearing an Eskimo and his visits to the Holy Land. But nothing seems to be clear.

We hope for Mar Mari Emmanuel and the Ancient Assyrian Church of the East all the best.

Through the Birth-Giver of God Maryam, and Mor Ephrem. God bless you all.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Every letter of Syriac we forget, every tradition we forget is contributing to our extinction.

The recent events in Syria, and Northern Iraq (especially Mosul and Qaraqosh) show the destruction of Syriac Christianity. It was only in 1915 that the Ottomans Turks murdered countless Syriac Christians, it was only in 1933 that Kurdish forces murdered countless Syriac Christians. And today we see history repeating itself with ISIS.

But what are we to do? We as in the Syriac Christians in the diaspora? We must preserve what was given to us by our fathers. And their father's fathers. Because it is our tradition and our language that tell the narrative of our existence.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

ISIS are simply Muslims. Not only fundamentalist Muslim

Over the last several days we have heard of the atrocities committed by ISIS toward the Christians of Iraq. The slaughters, the forcible removal, the rape, the evil. But I say this to you my brothers and sisters. That this is not fundamentalist Islam. This is just Islam. What ISIS is doing is practising their Islamic faith to the letter. We must stop saying that 'Islam is a Religion of peace', we must stop saying that 'most Muslims are peaceful'. These are politically correct innuendos. They are incorrect and are false. Our Lord tells us to always speak the truth.

My proof? Islamic History and what is being done to a minority group called the Yezidis.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Kurds, Ninveh Plains and ISIS

So there seem to be reports that the Peshmerga (Kurdish Armed forces) are protecting Christians in the villages of the Ninveh plains (Al Qosh, Bakhdida etc). This is all well and good in the short term. However, what are the consequences for the long term?

It's no secret that the Kurds want Mosul and Karkuk to be part of the Kurdish Regional Government. The Kurds may very well turn around and claim that the Ninveh Plains is part of Kurdistan.

What would this mean for the Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac Christians of Mesopotamia and Syria? Would it simply mean persecution 10/15/20 years down the track? Or will it mean stability?

I'm not sure, but what I am sure of is this: that the Kurds will not be as friendly as they are now if they are to annex the Ninveh Plains into Kurdistan.

God Bless the Assyrian, Chaldean and Syriac people!

Please pray for Christians in Iraq.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

We are the orginal inhabitants of Mosul - Interview with Iraqi Christians

An interview of what happened in Mosul. I can confirm that the accent of this woman is the Christian Maslawi Arabic accent. Below is a rough translation:

Interviewer: Your name:

Woman: Nadia Younan

Interviewer: How are you?

Nadia: Thank God, we are living by Jesus the Messiah

Interviewer: Tell us, what do you have? how did you leave Mosul? Why did you leave? How did you leave?

Nadia: We left because of our happiness and left for a holiday [sarcasm] we left at 7AM and they wanted to inspect us at the way of the fountains. They wanted to check what we had. What we had with us was 2 million. We stayed at home for 2 months, because the banks are closed and they're not giving Christians their salaries, this is all we had. We wrapped it, me and my sister, my brother is disabled as he had copped it from the Iranian military. The terrorist told me 'take of your clothes, is it true that you're not carrying money?' the terrorist put his hand in my brother's pocket and took some money. The terrorist then said, come down you and your sister, he asked me 'Where is the money?' I told him 'it is a few dinars so that we can eat and drink with it, would you permit this to your family?'. The terrorist said 'Go!, go to your Priests and your people the Christians, they will feed and protect you now. We respected you in the beginning but now you don't deserve respect' I told him 'what did we do to you' the terrorist then said 'In the beginning we stood by you, we stood by your churches but now you don't deserve respect' I told him 'I thank you for that, but now, but now...'

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Pope Francis and the scandalous betrayal of Iraqi Christians

Is it perhaps the most scandalous betrayal of the West towards the East? While Christians are being executed, rapped and driven out from their ancestral homelands in Mosul-Ninveh. His Holiness Pope Francis chooses to pander to Islamists.

I myself as a Syriac Christian from Iraq feel abandoned by the Holy Father. Inter-religious dialogue, pandering and claiming that Islam is a "religion of peace" will NOT help. As a Pope who has gained secular popularity, His Holiness has a duty to speak out. Yet, he has not. He has not come out harshly against the recent atrocities in Iraq, and most importantly against Islam.

Please pray for Iraq, pray for the Ninveh plains.

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

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Holy Synod of Syriac Catholic Church

His Beatitude Moran Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan has officially began proceedings for a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Syriac Catholic Church to elect a new Bishop of Homs.

His Beatitude and all the Syriac Synod are currently in Rome for celebration of the declaration of the sainthood of John Paul II and John XXIII.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The passing of His Eminence Cardinal Mar Emmanuel III Delly

At the age of 86 years old, His Eminence Cardinal Mar Emmanuel III Delly passed away on 8 April 2014 in San Diego, California. His Holiness Pope Francis issued a telegram on 9 April 2014 stating:

"I offer you, the clergy, men and women religious and lay faithful of the Patriarchate, both in Iraq and in the diaspora, my condolences and the assurance of my prayers. I recall with deep gratitude the late Patriarch’s dedication to his people and to the promotion of respectful, just and peaceful relations with followers of other religious traditions." 

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Passing of Moran Mor Ignatius Zakka Iwas

I will like to express my deepest condolences to all my Syriac Orthodox brethren in this day of mourning. Who have lost their beloved Patriarch Ignatius Zakka I Iwas.

We have lost a great man, a great shepherd and a great father. He was active in Syriac and Christian Unity and was a father to all. Orthodox and Catholics together.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

St. Thomas Christian Church Design

The following post is a pictorial of the ancient and beautiful Syriac church and sanctuary styles of the St. Thomas Christians. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

The reception of communion in the Syriac Tradition

In the Syriac Tradition the mysteries of the Eucharist, namely, the body and blood of Christ is the summit of our worship. We become in communion with our Lord in a very spiritual and physical way.

In the Syriac Tradition, unlike that of the Latin Tradition, the main celebrant (if of an equal of higher rank than the communicant) always communes the communicant. That is, the communicant never communes himself. The theology of this is simply because it is a sacrifice being given by the celebrant. In addition to this we are simply mimicking Our Lord Jesus who did the same to his apostles.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan 5 anniversary

Here at we would like to congratulate the Syriac Catholic Patriarch Of Antioch His Beatitude Moran Mor Ignatius Joseph III Younan on his fifth year as Patriarch.

His Beatitude has been a Patriarch in a difficult time. A time of instability for Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

Please continue to pray for His Beatitude so that he may continue his apostolic missions.

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

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Today, my friends and well beloved. Begins the Fast of the Ninevites or in Syriac (ܒܥܘܬܐ ܕܢܝܢܘܝܐ).

This fast, commemorates the repentance of the Ninvites. The three day fast resembles the time Jonah was in the whale.

Below is the prayer for the first day according the East Syrian Rite.

Taken from here.

Introductory Prayer
In pain and tears and fervent prayer, we cry to you, good Lord above! Be our healer and our wise guide: deep are our wounds; bitter our pain. We have no right to plead to you: our faults abound, our malice soars. The sea and land, and all therein have quaked and raged due to our sin. In our own time, as Scripture says, the end of days has come upon us. In mercy, save us from distress, for height and depth have been confused. O Good Shepherd, come tend your flock, for whose sake you endured the cross. Make peace for us in Church and world, that we may live a tranquil life. May we be yours, as is your will: Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. From age to age, amen, amen.

Come, let us repent now, while we have time, lest we repent then, without benefit. Who is patient enough to speak of your patience with our sins? If we sin, we become filled with wickedness, if we do good, we become filled with pride; and toward one another, we are cruel and merciless: we are jealous of one who succeeds, we rejoice over one who falls. And though our life is short, the list of our sins is long. You limited our lifespan to seventy years at best, but with these seventy, we have sinned seventy times seven over. You limited our life that our sins may not lengthen. I marvel at your Mercies, which overcame your Justice: even an impure man despises one impure like himself, yet you, who are holy, have not despised us. I am humbled by your Justice which does not despise us, as well as by your Grace, which is patient in teaching us, and how you dawn your sun upon those who upset you. You give without limit; we lose without measure. You taught us order; we act against it. We have put on mere names, and have taken off good works.

O pleaders, and do not cease while there is time for pleading, before the Giver shuts the door, and closes up his treasury. Were you to call in groaning, he would answer you sweetly, and were you to ask in repentance, you would receive abundantly. The Rich One who is full of mercies does not become poor when he gives: his treasure is one of mercy, a chasm filled with pity. Approach, you repentant, and ask for mercies while there is time for repentance. Let each one leave off all bitterness of heart and ask for mercies and pity. Let us heal and be healed, my brethren, that we may be healthy for work. This is the time for repentance! Let us work hard in pleading! Wrath now runs upon the earth: cut off his course, O repenter! Let us be plowmen in fasting, that our seed bring forth a hundredfold. Let us be workers in prayer, for it is a vine of comfort. Let us be builders of our hearts, that they may be fitting temples of God.

O Good One who showed his great love through the creature of man: [Yes, Lord!] [kneel] Pacify the world that is troubled and disturbed by the sins of man. [Amen.] [stand] O Lover of man, sow harmony among the sons of men, that one man may not be troubled or injured by another. O King of kings, who gives kings authority over man, soften the hearts of kings in regard to the sons of men. Abolish wars and end conflicts between men, that those who hate men may not dare to disturb them. Uphold your Church, which always knocks upon the door of your mercy, that she may not be defeated by the rebel, the hater of man. Bind her children together in perfect love toward mankind, and uproot jealousy, deceit and hatred from among them. Protect her shepherd, and increase peace in his days, that he may be an advocate and draw your mercies to men. Aid and sustain bishops, who stand as a symbol of the Shepherd of men, that they may care for mankind with joyfulness. May you shelter this parish, in which your holy Name is glorified, from the agitator, the hater of men. O God of all, whose love overflows upon mankind, protect our pastor, and give him strength to stand as leader. Adorn the priests, that they may be pure in body and soul, and accept the Sacrifices that they offer to you on behalf of mankind. Sanctify the deacons who serve you in the sanctuary, that they may be without fault or defilement. Perfect good teachers in understanding and pure intentions, and instruct learners in meditation and discipline. Bless the faithful, sealed and signed in your holy sign, and let your holy Name be hallowed in them. Visit the singers who cry out to you every day; in your mercy, do not abandon them to the evil one. Encourage the weak and the weary, and give victory and confidence to the oppressed. Show your way to all the lost on the path of wickedness, the path leading to life everlasting. Give security to all travelers on land and sea, rescue them from all straying and weariness. Hear, in your mercies, this prayer offered to you, and accept, in your love, this supplication presented to you. May your power be a great fortress for this gathering,

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

Monday, 27 January 2014

The challenge of Unity - Part 1

One of my greatest desires of Christendom, is that there should be unity between the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Catholic Church. This goal, however, has a few hurdles that must be solved before ever being achieved.

In saying this, there have been many theological issues that have been resolved. Most notably, Christological issues of Christ's humanity and divinity.

The first issue that I would like to discuss is the issue of the canon law of the Eastern Churches within the Catholic Church. The current situation between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Roman Catholic Church regarding canon law is one that does not make any sense. That is, the Eastern Code of Canon Law which was promulgated by Rome. Defines the law of the Eastern Churches and their rights. That is, the Eastern Code of Canon Law, is law created by the Latin Church. Not only does this compromise the autonomy of the Eastern Churches but it also groups all Eastern Churches into one block. Disregarding the richness of traditions in the East: Coptic, Syriac, Tawahedo, Armenian, Byzantine etc.

What should happen, is that Eastern Churches should create canon law for Eastern Churches. The Latin Church, if it wishes, may publish canons regarding its relationship with the Eastern Churches only. The corresponding Eastern Churches may have a joint declaration with the Church of Rome to reaffirm unity and the conditions of unity.

The current Canonical Legal Status of the Eastern Catholic Churches is insufficient for union. Canon Law must be restored to best resemble the Early Church in order for unity to be achieved.

Please pray for unity.

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

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Syriac an Official Language in Iraq

It seems that Syriac has officially become an official language in post-2003 Iraq. The Iraqi National Assembly has passed a law that allows Syriacs (Chaldeans and Assyrians) to speak Syriac in Iraq.

What is silly about this news item though is the fact that Syriac was officially a language in Iraq during the era of Saddam Hussein. Below are pictures of a book entitled "Syriac Reading - the preliminary first class", which was used to teach young students Syriac.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI on the Syriac Tradition

"In our excursion into the world of the Fathers of the Church, I would like to guide you today to a little-known part of this universe of faith, in the territories where the Semitic-language Churches flourished, still uninfluenced by Greek thought. These Churches developed throughout the fourth century in the Near East, from the Holy Land to Lebanon and to Mesopotamia. In that century, which was a period of formation on the ecclesial and literary level, these communities contributed to the ascetic-monastic phenomenon with autochthonous characteristics that did not come under Egyptian monastic influence. The Syriac communities of the fourth century, therefore, represent the Semitic world from which the Bible itself has come, and they are an expression of a Christianity whose theological formulation had not yet entered into contact with different cultural currents, but lived in their own way of thinking. They are Churches in which asceticism in its various hermitic forms (hermits in the desert, caverns, recluses, stylites) and monasticism in forms of community life, exert a role of vital importance in the development of theological and spiritual thought."

Monday, 6 January 2014

Patriarch Cheikho and Ba'athist-Iraq

In the early 1980s, in Iraq, a book was introduced in all schools (regardless of religious affiliation) to teach the Qu'ran. This book had certain deceitful prejudices against the Christian faith.

It is rumoured that the Chaldean Patriarch at the time - Paul II Cheikho, requested a meeting with the deputy Prime Minister at the time, a Chaldean Catholic - Tariq Aziz. To ask that the teaching of this particular book to not be used for Christian students.

Apparently Tariq Aziz was quite rude to the former Patriarch. Mr Aziz told the Patriarch that the book must be taught regardless of religious belief. The Patriarch then apparently beat Aziz's head, with his Episcopal-Shepards stick.

The Patriarch then requested a meeting with the president at the time Saddam Hussien. Who ordered that the book should not only not be taught to Christian students, but Muslim students as well.

Whether this story is true or not, I think it shows something. That the people at least believed that their Patriarch had courage, and if they believed he had courage, I have no reason to think that he did not. I think this type of zeal may be missing with our current leadership. But we hope that it will return.

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