Rome, Italy, Jun 27, 2018 / 13:13 pm
Referencing being nominated a cardinal, sometimes called “princes of the Church,” Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Babylon said he thinks of himself only as a father, pastor, and servant.
“I say to the [Iraqi] people: I am a father, a pastor – not a prince,” the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church said to journalists June 27, one day ahead of the ordinary consistory which will create 14 new cardinals, including the patriarch.
“As the Father asks us: we are servants, we should serve… with the joy of the people,” he said, noting in an earlier interview with EWTN News Nightly that patriarchs, like cardinals, also wear a red cassock, which symbolizes a willingness to die for the faith.
It can also symbolize the martyrs of the Chaldean Church, he continued. “Even now we [still have] martyrs. And I do hope that the blood of the martyrs will be fertile, will bring us a future, will bring us a new situation [in Iraq].”
He said patriarchs of the Eastern Churches feel strongly that they are called to serve their people, to be close to them, and to help them in their need, not to seek “prestige or privileges.”
“This is the call of my nomination as a cardinal. It is not a prize or a personal reward. [It is] to be sent anew for my mission, a new vocation.”
Sako was born July 4, 1948 in Zakho, Iraq. He was ordained a priest of the Chaldean Archeparchy of Mosul in 1974.
In 2002 he was selected as Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, and was confirmed and consecrated bishop in 2003.