Vatican City, 27 May 2012 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a message to His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, for the fiftieth anniversary of his consecration as bishop. In the letter, written in English, Benedict XVI recalls the patriarch’s visit to Rome in 1994 for the signing of a Common Declaration on Christology, his presence at the funeral of John Paul II, and his visit to Rome in 2007 during which the Pope had expressed his hope that they would continue their “common journey towards the re-establishment of full communion”.
“I thank the Lord for the many blessings he has bestowed on the Assyrian Church of the East through your ministry, and I am grateful for your commitment to promoting constructive dialogue, fruitful cooperation and growing friendship between our Churches”.
“I wish also to reiterate my solidarity with the Christian communities in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, praying that effective forms of common witness to the Gospel and pastoral collaboration in the service of peace, reconciliation and unity may be deepened between the Catholic and Assyrian faithful”.
The Holy Father concludes his letter by invoking the blessings of the Blessed Trinity upon the Patriarch.