Possession of the Baghdad premises of Babel College, the only Christian theological school in Iraq, was restored to the Chaldean Catholic Church on November 6 by the U.S. Army, which had occupied the college since the end of March 2007.
“The Americans decided to vacate the buildings and signed an agreement with the Chaldean Church, under which they also undertake to restore any damage and replace what has been destroyed: the classroom equipment, for instance, and the printing works,” said Chaldean Bishop Jacques Isaac, the head of the faculty, according to SIR.
There was no damage to either the library or the chapel, the latter of which was continued to function under the care of a chaplain while the Americans were there.
According to Bishop Isaac, the Chaldean Church wants to wait “until the works are finished” before it will say whether it is happy with the move.
“We are still at the beginning. We gave the U.S. Army a detailed list of all that was in the buildings before they became a military base. At any rate, it will take months for everything to be fixed,” the bishop said.
At present, the site’s security is provided by the Iraqi army.
In January 2007 Babel College, an associate of Rome’s Pontifical Urbaniana University, was relocated to Ankawa in the north for security reasons. It now holds classes there.