Hello world! Ab Oriente


Ab Oriente

A friend I met on the Catholic Forums encouraged me to write a web blog and so I started. First thing was to name the blog, and already I had a problem… what do I name the blog? To answer that, I would have to first think about why I was blogging to begin with.

Why am I starting this? There are important things taking place for years now within the Church of the East, especially on of the branch which was not in full communion with ANY other church or community. As my friend pointed out, not enough from West of the Euphrates are very aware of all that is taking place.

So the name had to indicate the information was about what was happening in the East. Min Medenkha is what it would be called in our language, but since this was to enlighten our Christians brothers in the West, specifically the Latin Church, about developements in the East, Ab Oriente seemed fitting.

The plight of our people in the Mideast should be familiar news to many people now, especially with the escalation of violence and the systematic oppression against us in Iraq. Prayers and support and a voice crying out for the protection of our people are needed.

Although the churches that we will be discussing, and much of the history as well, will be of the East, the precarious situation in the Mideast has created a world-wide diasphora of our people. I, myself, am living in California and barely remember the country of my birth, Iran. Most of what I remember is tainted by the Islamic revolution and state that took over in that country. I was too young to remember how anything may have been under the Shah. Many people are not physically in the East and much of the things that I will write about wil have taken place in the West, but this is the Church of the East (CotE for short) still. It is a much like many other Eastern churches that have been forced to also survive in a diaspora away from their traditional territory.

Where do I begin the the blog? What is it that I thought is important enough to begin blogging? I am a subdeacon under His Grace Mar Bawai Soro. Until a few years ago, we were part of the “Assyrian Church of the East,” but then things happened. My bishop felt very passionately about the split within our people and worked to reconcile the various apostolic branches to each other, and not just with each other, but with other churches, one of which is the Church at Rome. This would be necessary because of John 17:21, and also because of our Church canons and beliefs {to be discussed later}. There was also a practical necessity: the Chaldean Church of the East was the branch of the CotE which was in communion with Rome, and to be one with them would involve the resolution of the subject of communion with Rome between our two churches.

At first, I thought that was were to begin, but then, what about 5 years earlier, or 10, or even over a quarter of a century earlier? After all, as far as I can tell, my bishops message of unity has always been his central message. His emblem was John 17:21, writing in Classical Syriac, “that they may be one”, “et unum sint.” But maybe I need to start out much earlier. Like all that happened in the beginning of the 20th century… a turbulant and key to unlocking some of what happened.

Where do I begin? I hope my next blog will have a beginning. For now, I have a title for the weblog. For those interested to find out more on their own about my bishop and his current ordeal, please visit: http://www.marbawai.com

For those who would like to have an approach to this issue from a Catholic source, please visit: http://www.kaldu.org which is the website of the local diocese of the Chaldean Catholic Church under the guidance of their bishop, His Grace Mar Sarhad Yawsip Jammo. This diocese have been open arms of friendship and Christian fellowship for us, being fathers, and mothers and brothers and sisters to us.

I must also mention the Ancient Church of the East, which also opened its churches and its heart to us at a time when we were most in need.

In Him,

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