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Chaldean priests suspended for seeking asylum without superiors' approval

Clergy have frequently been targeted by kidnappers and Islamic radicals in Iraq
Chaldean priests suspended for seeking asylum without superiors' approval

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad, Iraq, arrives for a session of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family at the Vatican earlier this month (Photo by Paul Haring/CNS)

Published: October 24, 2014 04:10 AM GMT
Updated: October 23, 2014 05:10 PM GMT

Twelve Chaldean religious men and priests living in the United States, Canada, Australia and Sweden have been suspended from exercising their priestly ministry for not receiving permission from their superiors before emigrating from Iraq.

At least three of those suspended had been serving the Chaldean diaspora in the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle of San Diego since leaving Iraq.

The sanctions went into effect Wednesday following repeated, but "unfortunately unfruitful ultimatums" from the men's religious orders or bishops, said a written decree signed by Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad.

The decree also thanked Father Paulus Khuzeran, a religious who had been living in the United States, and Father Yousif Lazghin, a priest who had been living in Australia, for deciding to obey their superiors and return to their assigned place of ministry.

Escalating turmoil and violence in Iraq has prompted hundreds of thousands of Iraq's Christian minorities to flee their nation.

Religious men and women and priests have often stood out as prime targets of kidnappers and killings, while churches and other religious places of worship have been singled out for bombings and attacks for years.

 

Full Story: Iraqi priests sanctioned for seeking asylum without superiors' consent

Source:Catholic News Service

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