The Church of Iraq Shouldn’t Lose its Prophetic Voice
Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako
The Church in Iraq must preserve its freedom and independence. The Church is entrusted to transmit the truth and defend it. Jesus says: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8: 32). The path of truth is narrow, “the narrow gate” (Matthew 7: 13) that qualifies us to test the presence of Christ in our lives by living His teaching “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14: 6).
The clergyman must be a leader, not a “follower”, with enlightened mind, lively conscience and exemplary behavior. He should not deviate from the truth. The duties of the clergyman are to impersonate Jesus Christ, in helping others to follow their Lord and provide them a sound Christian spiritual education and good morals that protect them from being drawn towards evil. The clergyman should neither get along with wicked, nor praise the corrupted persons, or cover up for them.
Beware of those who kiss you from your forehead, it is the kiss of “traitor”, not the kiss of love, but rather aims to shackle you with a handful amount of illegal money to buy your will and integrity. He seeks to justify his corruption at the expense of the Church and the truth, especially that our voluntary and priceless service stems from our faith and love. The clergyman must rise spiritually in terms of faith, humane, and patriotic figure so as to be emulated rather than selling himself for money.
Since the clergyman represents the Church, he should make an effort to show its distinguished image, for the sake of citizens, particularly in Iraq, in such difficult circumstances amid the repetitive and unbearable crises.
The Church must defend Christians of Iraq against those who seize their rights, capabilities, properties, and changing the demography of Nineveh Plain (majority of its inhabitants are Christian).
Also, the Church must strongly defend the truth towards, itself, the country and the Christians, as they became the “weak link”. The Church should accept the truth only and never flatter anyone at the expense of the truth.
Injustice and persecutors will vanish sooner or later.
“I know your deeds… and I have tested those who say they are apostles and are not apostles, and you have found them to be liars” (Revelation 2/1-4).