New Iraqi Patriarch concerned with Muslim fundamentalism

The new top Catholic leader of Iraq,  Emmanuel III Delly, recently elected Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, expressed yesterday his concern for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq.

Delly, 77, is the new head of Chaldean Catholics, an Eastern-rite Christian community loyal to Rome with some 1.5 million members around the world of which 800.000 live Iraq.

In his first major interview since his election, Emmanuel III told officials of the Catholic foundation “Aid to the Church in Need” that “these are difficult times for our country and the Chaldean Catholics. We are worried about the increase of fundamentalist Islam in Iraq. But we are saying to our people trust in God and He will not let you down.”

Inmmediately after the election, officials of Aid to the Church in Need spoke to the new Patriarch and all the Chaldean bishops to assess the needs of the Church and the people.

ACN is committed to helping the Churches to provide emergency aid – both pastoral and spiritual - amid reports of increasing poverty.

On Friday, Patriarch Emmanuel III celebrated a Mass in St. Peter Basilica in Rome to mark his new appointment.

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