About Us من نحن

Archivesالأرشيف   Interviews   مقابلات kaldu.org  كلدو Contact Us اتصلوا بنا Links  دليل

           July 18, 2013

 

 

CHALDEAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF ST PETER THE APOSTLE CELEBRATING ELEVEN YEARS of the ESTABLISHMENT

The Spiritual Core in our Diocese

 

By Bishop Sarhad Y. Jammo

 

Though the establishment of a diocese comes always as an organic growth of a preexisting ecclesiastic reality, the formation of a new diocese represents, as well, a fresh beginning for the communities and institutions pertaining to it as a united body. Many parishes, with the leadership and ministry of their pastors, were vibrant centers of pastoral ministry, catechism, Bible Study, Chaldean language, Sodalities, and many programs; which represented for the newly formed diocese the spring board to an extended and far reaching expansion. Looking at our Chaldean Diocese of St. Peter the Apostle, we can collect the growth, during the past 11 years, in few basic categories:

Institutional Growth

a) The previous church buildings (7 of them) and annexes, all and every one, were remarkably remodeled and improved, including the Cathedral; furthermore, 3 new churches were added: St. Barbara in Las Vegas, Our Lady of Perpetual Health, in Sacramento, St. Matthew in Ceres; each one with a decent hall.

b) New Buildings developments: St. George Retreat Center, in Perris; Mar Abba Seminary; Our Lady of the Fields convent; Educational Center at St. Peter's; Media Center at St. Peter's; Bishopric, used now as Theology Section of our Seminary also, with a second modest residence for the Eparch, also a new Rectory for St. Michael.

c) New 5 Missions are being formed and served: Holy Family and Holy Cross and Tucson in Arizona, Rabban Hormizda in River Side, Huston and Dallas in Texas, Monterey in California.

d) The population and their Shepherds: It went from 30-35 Thousand to 65-70 Thousand; the clergy from 7 priests to 17 with 2 bishops. 8 seminarians in a diocesan seminary, and 7 nuns of the new diocesan Association.

The Spiritual Content and its Growth

1) Retreats and Pilgrimages: With an average of 2 retreats a month, it gave a great opportunity for hundreds of faithful to deepen and mature their spirituality and it gave to priests, seminarians and nuns the exercise of their knowledge and didactical methods, as a necessary preparation for their future ministry.

2) Catechism, Bible Studies, Sodalities of many kinds: With more than hundred teachers and leaders in San Diego, including clergy and lay teams in both parishes; they form and guide an impressive army of goodness and Christian values. Recently, a new Diocesan Catechism for First Communion, authored by one of our Chaldean nuns, has been produced, as indeed a major achievement of its kind.

3) Shamashi Class: Hundreds of Shamashi, of different groups and ranks, were ordained to fulfill the liturgical needs, especially of the sacraments of the Church; they are a remarkable spiritual force, inside the churches and at large in our communities.

4) Seminary and Convent: Though still journeying toward their finality and full formation, they are already the most powerful structural force of the Church for its mission

5) Cultural expressions: Like the Chaldean Language series of books Liturgical Hymns, musicals, dramas, songs and festivals, that the Media Center produces, are all basic components for community survival and renaissance. We are expecting soon remarkable fresh productions in that field from our diocesan nuns.

The Spiritual Core: All the previous must have a core, from which it draws its energy and vitality; this core is known in Theology to be the Qurbana of the Church; it is the heart of the ecclesial body that pumps spiritual blood of life to everyone and every organ in the Church, both as a community and as organization. A bishop must provide and organize, in the best manner, the requirements for its confection, offering and consumption. "Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin...." (Heb 5: 1).

The subject of this lecture is to study and present the ecclesial meaning of this core, its centrality in the Christian life of faith, with its impact as an irreplaceable catalyst; looking carefully at its scriptural origin, as well as the modalities of its embodiment in our liturgies, in our devotions, ecclesial connections, and pastoral application.

Central worship in the Scriptures: It required basically: Priesthood, Sacrifice, Temple; the peak of all is expressed in the Passover offering. Jesus doe not destroy the temple needed for worship, but he construct a new temple, which is his body. He is as well the new high priest, his crucified body is the sacrifice. They are 2 basic moments: altar and banquet; a) Presentation and offering, in the temple. b) breaking and consuming in families. It is paramount to expose how The Sacramental founding act of Christ in the Last Supper corresponds to and replaces the Jewish Passover.

The Jewish Passover Practice: That day of 14 Nisan in the afternoon, a lamb for each family ought to be slain and offered in the temple of Jerusalem. Then the representatives of the family would take the rest of the offered lamb to their family, to be consumed by them in the evening, according to Passover prescriptions.

Christ Passover: Jesus was crucified on the same day, called "of the preparation", dying on the cross in corresponding hour when lambs were slain in the temple. Then, his body was taken from the cross to a nearby new tomb, where he was buried; Sunday early morning was not anymore in the tomb but found risen. That is the Christian Passover in its first moment; the difference between the Jewish and the Christian Passover is that this Lamb of God, Jesus, is not slain as a final status of existence, but after being slain and buried, he is risen.

For the second moment, the consumption of the lamb, the Jews wondered showing the absurdity of Jesus plan in making himself a true nourishment of eternal life, the bread of life: "how can this man give us his body to eat"? Thus, Lord Jesus established the sacrament of Eucharist in which bread and wine will become, by the consecration, his body and blood; therefore the Qurbana of the church, through the consecrated elements of bread and wine, is to be consumed by the faithful.

Therefore, in the Mass: the first Eucharistic segment (the presentation of the gifts and their offering) makes present for us what happened in Golgotha, the offering to the Father of Jesus' self, to become our own Qurbana; in the second Eucharistic segment, we prepare for communion by the fraction of the consecrated bread and its signing with consecrated chalice, followed by the communion itself.

Collecting the basic Christian Passover data:

* The temple, where there was an altar facing the Holy of the Holies, there the slain lambs were offered; in Holy Friday Jesus becomes the Lamb of God, Golgotha and the tomb become the Christian Holy of the Holies; Mother Mary with John the Beloved, and few devoted ladies stood in front of the Cross and, afterword with Peter, in front of the tomb. These are the most important features of the new Christian temple, built as the body of Christ.

* The banquet is the second principal segment of the Eucharistic celebration, therefore, while the altar serves the presentation of the offering and their consecration and offering to the Father, the Banquet serves the breaking and signing followed by the communion. This section, according to the founding act of the Lord, in substitution to the Jewish Passover, is properly organized to face people.

* The heart of Jesus as the ultimate sanctuary and refuge of our souls: The two scenes of the Gospel of John, one describing the piercing of the side of the Lord, the other the touching by hand of Thomas of that opening is for me the most powerful historic and theological reference, both for the liturgy, as well as for personal and community devotion. Thus: a) A cross, without the icon of the crucifix (with the bloody mark in his side), is a drastically diminished representation of Golgotha, inaccurately attributed to ancient Fathers of the Chaldean Church; those leaders, who promoted the iconoclastic doctrine of a Nestorian current within the Church of the East, were more in the business of pleasing their Islamic rulers than fulfilling the implications of Christian dogmas.b) The opening of Jesus' Heart is represented eloquently and dramatically by the opening of the veil in our churches, giving us access to the divine throne of mercy

* Pursuing a course of spiritual renewal in our diocese 11 years ago: Where to start, what is the ultimate reference?

Your Bishop's Response: Organizing our Holy of Holies, the Qanke, according to the scriptural requirements, and living in continuity and harmony with it, was since the beginning of my episcopal mandate, and remains as long as I am the shepherd of this eparchy, the solid spiritual core of our diocese renewal. The fundamental principal is: authenticity, truth, and bearing faithfully our responsibility is to be expressed first of all in front of the altar. Otherwise, nothing else could be seriously authentic. This is where everything noble and serious begins and ends --obedience to the call of God, human dignity, concrete charity, redemption of self and of humankind, sacramental ministry, restored grace and paradise-- everything pertaining to eternal life is nothing but a consequence and application of the Paschal events and celebration.

 

 

 

Pioneering Renewal

Authenticity & Renewal in the Catholic Doctrine

As Faithfully Applied in Saint Peter Diocese, USA

 

I. Authenticity

What are the authentic features of the Chaldean Catholic Church, as formally recognized by the most authoritative reference of the Catholic Church, the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches? Are the Chaldeans recognized as a distinct people, with specific culture and history, with liturgical, theological, spiritual, and disciplinary patrimony? What does the Catholic Church teach us about the importance of cultural and national identity?

There may be, indeed, confusion among our Chaldean people regarding the relevance of nationality and culture. Is it, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, a divisive and harmful thing to understand and appreciate our own nationality and culture? Or, on the contrary, does the Church ask us to be proud of who we are and preserve our heritage, rather than dilute ourselves and our patrimony in other cultures or practices? Here are some helpful canonical guidelines and leads:
Eastern Code of Canon Law, 1990:

What are the authentic features of the Chaldean Catholic Church, as formally recognized by the most authoritative reference of the Catholic Church, the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches? Are the Chaldeans recognized as a distinct people, with specific culture and history, with liturgical, theological, spiritual, and disciplinary patrimony? What does the Catholic Church teach us about the importance of cultural and national identity?

Canon 28 - 2. The rites treated in this code, unless otherwise stated, are those which arise from the Alexandrian, Antiochene, Armenian, Chaldean and Constantinopolitan traditions.

1. A rite is the liturgical, theological, spiritual and disciplinary patrimony, culture and circumstances of history of a distinct people, by which its own manner of living the faith is manifested in each Church sui iuris.

Canon 39 - The rites of the Eastern Churches, as the patrimony of the entire Church of Christ, in which there is clearly evident the tradition which has come from the Apostles through the Fathers and which affirm the divine unity in diversity of the Catholic faith, are to be religiously preserved and fostered.

What does the Church teach us about keeping our own particular Eastern traditions?

Does the Church want us to take on the practices of the Latin Church, or does she encourage us to resist Latinization and keep our own particular traditions? Does she have no preference whether Chaldeans go to Latin or other Churches, or does she prefer Chaldeans to attend and participate in their own Chaldean Church?

Eastern Code of Canon Law, 1990:

Canon 40 - 1. Hierarchs who preside over Churches sui iuris and all other hierarchs are to see most carefully to the faithful protection and accurate observance of their own rite, and not admit changes in it except by reason of its organic progress, keeping in mind, however, mutual goodwill and the unity of Christians.

2. Other clerics and members of institutes of consecrated life are bound to observe their own rite faithfully and daily to acquire a greater understanding and a more perfect practice of it.

3. Other Christian faithful are also to foster an understanding and appreciation of their own rite, and are held to observe it everywhere unless something is excused by the law.

The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches, 1964:

4. Finally, each and every Catholic, as also the baptized members of any non-Catholic church or community who come to the fullness of Catholic communion, must retain each his own rite wherever he is, and follow it to the best of his ability, without prejudice to the right of appealing to the Apostolic See in special cases affecting persons, communities or districts.

What does the Church teach us about imitating the practices of other particular churches?

Are we directed, as Chaldean Catholics, to maintain our originality vis-a-vis other Eastern Rites, such as the Maronite or Syriac, or to borrow from them as though it is better to be similar? Or, on the contrary, does the Church want us to retain and guard our own distinct traditions, as a treasure to be kept for the whole Catholic Church?

The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches, 1964:

5. All members of the Eastern Churches should be firmly convinced that they can and ought always to preserve their own legitimate liturgical rites and ways of life, and that changes are to be introduced only to forward their own organic development. They themselves are to carry out all these prescriptions with the greatest fidelity. They are to aim always at a more perfect knowledge and practice of their rites, and if they have fallen away due to circumstances of times or persons, they are to strive to return to their ancestral traditions. (See details in the Holy See’s document Instruction for the Application of the Liturgical Prescriptions in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, 1996:

10. Desiring that these treasures flourish and contribute ever more efficiently to the evangelization of the world, Orientalium Ecclesiarum affirms, as do successive documents, that the members of Eastern Churches have the right and the duty to preserve them, to know them, and to live them. Such affirmation contains a clear condemnation of any attempt to distance the Eastern faithful from their Churches, whether in an explicit and irreversible manner, with its juridical consequences, inducing them to pass from one Church sui iuris to another, or whether in a less explicit manner, favoring the acquisition of forms of thought, spirituality, and devotions that are not coherent with their own ecclesial heritage, and thus contrary to the indications so often emphasized by Roman Pontiffs and expressed, with particular force, already in the Apostolic Letter Orientalium Dignitas of Leo XIII.

 

II. Liturgical Renewal

What does the Church teach us about how to respect and develop our traditions “organically”?

Does authentic renewal mean adding elements from outside our tradition, for example from the Latin tradition? Or does it mean allowing the Chaldean tradition to grow from within, and expand in its own way? Which form of “renewal” is correct in the Chaldean Church: the Latinization that occurred due to a misunderstanding of the Second Vatican Council, or the Reformed Chaldean Mass of 2006?

Eastern Code of Canon Law, 1990:

Canon 40 - 1. Hierarchs who preside over Churches sui iuris and all other hierarchs are to see most carefully to the faithful protection and accurate observance of their own rite, and not admit changes in it except by reason of its organic progress, keeping in mind, however, mutual goodwill and the unity of Christians.

The Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches, 1964:

5. All members of the Eastern Churches should be firmly convinced that they can and ought always to preserve their own legitimate liturgical rites and ways of life, and that changes are to be introduced only to forward their own organic development. They themselves are to carry out all these prescriptions with the greatest fidelity. They are to aim always at a more perfect knowledge and practice of their rites, and if they have fallen away due to circumstances of times or persons, they are to strive toreturn to their ancestral traditions. (See The Holy See’s document Instruction for the Application of the Liturgical Prescriptions in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, 1996)

12. The Council specifies that changes in the rites and disciplines of these Churches are not admitted except by reason of their own organic progress and adds that whenever they have fallen short, due to circumstances of time or persons, they are to strive to return to their ancestral traditions.

The Holy Father John Paul II sees in this a "symbol of the firm attitude held by the Apostolic See, that the Council so efficiently expressed by asking the Eastern Churches in full communion with it to have the courage to rediscover the authentic traditions of their own identity, restoring the original purity where necessary."

The organic progress, in every Church sui iuris, implies taking into account first of all the roots from which the heritage of these Churches was initially developed, mainly in Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Constantinople, Armenia, and in the ancient empire of Persia; and secondly, the manner in which such traditions were transmitted, adapting to the various circumstances and places but maintained in a coherent, organic continuity.

To explain this principle it serves to mention an exhortation of Pope Paul VI to the members of the Commissions encharged with preparing the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. Evoking the double scope of the future Code (faithful to the traditions and in view of the demands of our world), he observed how in presenting new things it is necessary to pay attention to take sufficiently into account the system of the transmitted heritage. Any renewal, in fact, should be coherent and agree with sound tradition, in such a way that the new norms do not appear as an extraneous body forced into an ecclesiastical composite, but blossoming as though spontaneously from already existing norms.

What does the Church teach us about the particularities of our Eastern church-buildings?

Is the Sanctuary meant to be open to the public or kept as a holy place? Are the elements of the Bema and Veil to be abandoned as old-fashioned or re-established?

The Holy See’s document Instruction for the Application of the Liturgical Prescriptions in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, 1996:

104. The sanctuary is separated from the nave by a veil, gate or iconostasis, because it is the most sacred place: it contains the altar on which the Divine Liturgy is celebrated and the Oblation is offered. Only those who are entrusted with the sacred ministry can enter the sanctuary to complete the sacred acts.

Therefore, it is important that in restoring old churches or constructing new ones, those responsible should attentively study the symbology expressed in them, while taking into account and foreseeing the possibility of re-establishing the usage in conformity to their proper tradition.

What does the Church teach us about the celebration of Mass?

Is the Chaldean celebrant supposed to face the people during the Eucharistic Prayer, or does the Church ask him to pray in the same direction as the people, facing the Cross, with the people?

The Holy See’s document Instruction for the Application of the Liturgical Prescriptions in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, 1996:

107. This rich and fascinating interpretation also explains the reason for which the celebrant who presides in the liturgical celebration prays facing the east, just as the people who participate. It is not a question, as is often claimed, of presiding the celebration with the back turned to the people, but rather of guiding the people in pilgrimage toward the Kingdom, invoked in prayer until the return of the Lord.

Such practice, threatened in numerous Eastern Catholic Churches by a new and recent Latin influence, is thus of profound value and should be safeguarded as truly coherent with the Eastern liturgical spirituality.

Is it allowed for the deacons, choir or people to sing a hymn during the Eucharistic prayer, or must all be silent and listening to the priest who is praying? Is this only a rule for the Latin Church or does it apply to all Churches?
Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963:

3. Among these principles and norms there are some which can and should be applied both to the Roman rite and also to all the other rites. The practical norms which follow, however, should be taken as applying only to the Roman rite, except for those which, in the very nature of things, affect other rites as well.

The Congregation for Divine Worship’s Instruction “RedemptionisSacramentum,” On Certain Matters to be Observed or to be Avoided Regarding the Most Holy Eucharist, 2004.

53. While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent, except for the people’s acclamations that have been duly approved, as described below.

The Diocesan Stand

I) In Regard to our Authentic Spiritual Heritage

We, the diocesan Chaldean clergy, hereby pledge our faithfulness to our own Eastern Chaldean spiritual and liturgical heritage and identity, with its scriptural and apostolic core, as eloquently formulated and expressed through the Aramaic language and culture, this being done in accord with the directives of the Catholic Church as mandated in its Canons and Magisterial Documents.

Canon 40 - 3. Christian faithful are also to foster an understanding and appreciation of their own rite, and are held to observe it everywhere unless something is excused by law.

Decree on the Catholic Eastern Churches (Vatican II):

4. Finally, each and every Catholic, as also the baptized members of any non-Catholic church or community who come to the fullness of Catholic communion, must retain each his own rite wherever he is, and follow it to the best of his ability, without prejudice to the right of appealing to the Apostolic See in special cases affecting persons, communities or districts.

5. All members of the Eastern Churches should be firmly convinced that they can and ought always to preserve their own legitimate liturgical rites and ways of life, and that changes are to be introduced only to forward their own organic development. They themselves are to carry out all these prescriptions with the greatest fidelity. They are to aim always at a more perfect knowledge and practice of their rites, and if they have fallen away due to circumstances of times or persons, they are to strive to return to their ancestral traditions.

II) Regarding Liturgical Application

Prompt Implementation of Canonical Liturgical Reform

Diocesan Stand: We declare our collective and personal adherence to the officially and canonically formulated Chaldean Missal, approved by the Holy See and the Holy Chaldean Synod, and promulgated by His Beatitude Mar Emmanuel III Delly, Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, with a fixed date for implementation (i.e., January 6, 2007) of which we are now celebrating the happy fulfilment, encouraging all dioceses to share in the bounty without delay.

The Urgency to Implement the Liturgical Reform

Liturgy being the heart of our spiritual life, and the Eucharistic Qurbana being the core of Christian Liturgy, we certainly must present to our faithful all that is needed for your understanding of this fundamental act of worship and your participation in it, for the following reasons:

1. For dogmatic correctness: Without judging anyone, and with total due respect to the good intention of other Chaldean hierarchs, priests, ministers and faithful, we cannot neglect the objective fact of having some segments of the 1905 Missal, reproduced with minor modifications in 1971, as well as common practice, that are not in harmony with clear Catholic theology. For example, the hymn "Paghreh Da-Mshyha” is chanted to accompany the Presentation of the Gifts, its text being “the body of Christ and his precious blood are on the holy altar…,” before the elements of bread and wine are consecrated by the prayer of the anaphora.

2. In faithfulness to the command of the Lord: “Do this in memory of me.” Knowing that our Lord offered to the heavenly Father, in a manifest way, a “blessing” then a “thanksgiving,” asking us to do the same in his memory, so in a very similar manner in the Reformed Missal, we comply in full obedience, when we execute our Qurbana with our Mesopotamian apostolic anaphora, as restored to its original sections (Blessing-Thanksgiving-Memorial), reflecting the basic liturgical structure of the founding Supper of the Lord in a much adhesive manner.

3. In organic continuity with the Mesopotamian apostolic liturgical tradition: Architecturally adjusting our churches, most of all the sanctuary area, to be able to function in an eloquent expression of the scriptural way of worship, facing the central cross or Lord’s icon in the Presentation and Offering sections, and moving around to face the people when addressing them, in full adherence to the liturgical text and its meaning.

4. In compliance with the canons of the Church and the directives of the Holy See: With deep respect to all hierarchs, we claim humbly that our diocese intends to fully comply with the Law of the Catholic Church, as expressed in its canons and in the directives of the Holy See, and do it to the best of our collective ability. Indeed the Reformed Missal that we use, compared to the variety of local Missals in use at the present time, is the one with the approval of the Holy See, as requested by the Law of the Catholic Church:

Canon 657 - 1. The approval of liturgical texts, after prior recognitio of the Apostolic See, is reserved in patriarchal Churches to the patriarch with the consent of the synod of bishops of the patriarchal Church, in metropolitan Churches sui iuris to the metropolitan with the consent of the council of hierarchs; in other Churches this right rests exclusively with the Apostolic See, and, within the limits set by it, to bishops and to their legitimately constituted assemblies.

2. The same authorities are also competent to approve the translations of these books meant for liturgical use, after sending a report to the Apostolic See in the case of patriarchal Churches and metropolitan Churches sui iuris.

Canon 668 - 1. Divine worship, if it is done in the name of the Church by a person legitimately appointed for this and through an act approved by the authority of the Church, is called public; if not, it is called private.

2. For the regulation of divine public worship the competent authority is the one mentioned in canon 657, with due regard for canon 199, 1; no other person can add to, remove, or modify that which was established by this authority.

Canon 199 - 1. The eparchial bishop, as the moderator, promoter and guardian of the entire liturgical life in the eparchy committed to him, must be vigilant that it be fostered as much as possible and ordered according to the prescriptions and legitimate customs of his own Church sui iuris.

For further details, see the Instruction of the Holy See for the application of the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons for the Eastern Churches (Vatican 1996, No. 107).

In regard to the directives see the Holy See’s document Instruction for the Application of the Liturgical Prescriptions in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/eastinst.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

******************************************