Below is a translation of segments taken from a recent interview (in Chaldean) between “The Chaldean Voice Radio” in Michigan and His Beatitude Patriarch Sako, on March 04, 2017. The Patriarch’s statement, in the minutes referred, states clearly how Patriarch Sako calls his clergy and members of his flock with names and with expletive language.
Shawki: (Sayedna-your Excellency), now we come to this, and as you have already mentioned earlier, you will answer all of our questions very honestly. In both dioceses, in St. Thomas, and mostly in St. Peter’s Diocese, and until this day, we have been waiting for the joyful news of a new shepherd to St. Peter Diocese. Lots of rumors (to be honest with you), are being spread here saying that Cardinal Sandri did not agree, did not accept the three names nominated by our church. Others say this method is not working and not worthwhile, and we are still waiting for joyful news, since we are getting closer to days, not much time left to Easter; we need your insight, Sayedna.
Patriarch Sako: I mean, there are people… “Satani” Satans, they only want evil, and they spread rumors without basis. I mean, I mean, and until now it has not yet been 5 months since the convening of the Synod, and this may take some time, nearly 6 months, I mean, especially for those who are abroad. This thing has no basis and the ones who are spreading rumors about that, I mean honestly, they have no conscience, I mean, I mean, they are not afraid from God, I mean of themselves. We saw an announcement by this Fr. Noel and forwarded it to the (Congregation), I mean. How can he dare and say such a thing? I mean. And how does he know? And where does he have information from? I mean. I am a patriarch, and No, I don’t even know I mean. Just a week ago, I mean this issue was going smoothly I mean, but the rumors, who can shut peoples’ mouth? Thus those should have a conscience, whether a priest, or a bishop, and should not spread talk that is not accurate, I mean, and… other rumors I mean. What kind of future does that one have? Our future is with the church and with one another. Today… (Stuttering) we are here and tomorrow we are not, I mean, but the church will stay. Why shouldn’t our history be clean and pure? I mean, and why do we always look for problems? And these conflicts, to whose benefit are they? They’re not for the benefit of the church, nor to the benefit of those people themselves, I mean. As Bishop Ibrahim retired with big pride and dignity, and all of you respect him, why can’t he be like that as a good example? Why do problems happen? I mean, (we are ashamed of it) and we I mean… the church, does not have big problems like the other churches. Why do these problems happen? I mean, what will happen after them? I mean, I mean what can they do? Now, they are … he is retired. And after that, can he assign another Bishop to replace him? That’s impossible. It is man’s duty, now it’s Fasting, and it is repentance, for to review their selves. To rethink, and to stand before the Lord one day when he asks: what have you done, I mean, how have you divided the church? I mean the law and order. I mean the thing I could do to keep the law and order, I mean, otherwise, each one will do what he feels like doing. This priest picked up his luggage and left…and that monk left the monastery and took off…and that…. How can this be? There should be respect, I mean. There are things… like give and take, but at the end there should be order, and the law should be followed in order for things to move on I mean..Shawki: (Sayedna)… Patriarch Sako: (continues) all these are from the rumors, there isn’t any basis. And with God’s power we will have a Bishop before Easter. We have big hopes.
Shawki: With God’s help, (Sayedna), the parishioners of St. Peter’s Diocese are awaiting your visit to them during which time a Bishop would have already been ordained for this diocese. However, today, (Sayedna), very much, with the arrival of the Apostolic Administrator, his Excellency Bishop Shlemoun Warduni, who had done a great job, there are some obstacles until this day, there are priests who come to church in this parish who do not celebrate mass. We also have, Fr. Noel, who had left, and who attends a foreign church, which we cannot call a church, and those who attend his mass, you can count them by hand, and are the same and aren’t changing. This thing is not good for the church or for the believers. But with God’s help, everything will go back to normal with your visit… So, what is your message to the children of this diocese?
Patriarch Sako: I mean, I mean, I am very thankful to Bishop Warduni and Bishop Bawai and Fr. …. Sabri and all the priests, also the young priests who are working; Ankido and Simon and Fr. Archbishop… Saeed Felix, and all of them one by one, and Remon. I mean each one has a place in my prayer, I mean. And this Noel has been suspended, suspended from celebrating the mass. I mean, and the Cardinal has sent a letter stating that he is suspended. So the people who go there are, I mean, are against the church. They are against the church if they go and listen to someone who cannot celebrate mass. I mean…. (Not clear). And our customs, we are Catholics, and we follow our church’s teachings and its hierarchy. This is… I mean also.… the Pope’s will, and… not me… only me… The Synod, which includes 20 Bishops, I mean, are they to follow a priest that has left the monastery? And a loose priest *“Fleeta”? I mean, how could that be? I mean. This is something painful. He has no right to celebrate the mass with us. He has no right to celebrate the mass. He… we were merciful with him and we said: if he wants to go to a Latin church then let him go. Let him find a Latin bishop and go there, I mean. In the meantime, if he had shown any repentance and good will, or humility, so what do we have? I mean. We don’t take revenge, I mean. We don’t have hatred or anything but the contrary. The Patriarch is a father and the Bishop is a father and a brother, but if each one does what he pleases and the way he wants it, that is not allowed, then the house will be ruined and the church will be ruined, I mean.
We thank God, now we have, I mean, it’s been 3 times we’ve all met, we the Priests and Bishops of Iraq (more than 70), we all meet together with joy and spirituality for we are one, I mean. Why do others be? … (The one who looks for himself, only, will lose it) … that is what the Lord said. Though I have hope because those in their church … the Pope, their liturgy, their language, their morals, and they do not listen to this or that hurtful talk. Today they cannot do anything … we are now in Lent, and every one should repent and ask for forgiveness so he can celebrate with the risen Lord so we can rise with Him too. I mean this is my prayer, and also my hope, and my request for all Chaldeans not to leave but support their church and their nation and to help one another as well. And if there is I mean, any issue, it should be dealt with understanding, good heart, and respect, without any threat, and no cursing, I mean, and slur, what kind of education is that!
Shawki: (Sayedna-your Excellency), our thanks to you from the Chaldean Voice …. (End of interview).
* Definition of “Fleeta” (in Chaldean): Loose, immoral