Pope Francis: Mar Dinkha IV "a courageous and wise pastor"

2015-03-28 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent his condolences upon learning of the death of the Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, Mar Dinkha IV.

“The Christian world has lost an important spiritual leader, a courageous and wise pastor who faithfully served his community in extremely challenging times,” Pope Francis writes. “His Holiness Mar Dinkha suffered greatly because of the tragic situation in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and in Syria, resolutely calling attention to the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters and other religious minorities suffering daily persecution.”

Pope Francis also gave thanks for the commitment of Mar Dinkha to improving relations among Christians, and in particular between the Catholic Church and Assyrian Church of the East.

The full text of the telegram is below

 

To His Beatitude Mar Aprem

                Locum Tenens of the Assyrian Church of the East

Having learned with sadness of the death of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to Your Beatitude, to the Bishops, clergy and all the faithful and to assure you of the spiritual closeness of all Catholics at this time.  The Christian world has lost an important spiritual leader, a courageous and wise pastor who faithfully served his community in extremely challenging times.  His Holiness Mar Dinkha suffered greatly because of the tragic situation in the Middle East, especially in Iraq and in Syria, resolutely calling attention to the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters and other religious minorities suffering daily persecution.  I recall how we spoke of this at length during the recent visit of His Holiness to Rome.  I give heartfelt thanks to Almighty God for the enduring commitment of His Holiness to improving relations among Christians and in particular between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.  May the Lord receive him into his kingdom and grant him eternal rest, and may the memory of his long and devoted service to the Church live on as a challenge and inspiration to us all.

                               FRANCISCUS PP.

(from Vatican Radio)