The Chaldean Catholic Church

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The history of the Chaldean Catholic Church, one of the most historical and widespread in the Middle East

History of Chaldean Catholic Church

The Chaldean Catholic Church originates from the most ancient Nestorian Church, a reality which, following some theological disputes concerning above all the role and role of Mary (the majority of Christians called her “Mother of God”, while the Nestorians “Mother of Jesus” , separating de facto the divine figure from the earthly one) and other geopolitical diatribes (the majority of Christians were mostly in the Roman Empire, while the Nestorians in the Sassanid one), split from other Christian realities following the Council of Ephesus of 431, in which she was declared a heretic, thus finding refuge and protection in the Sasanian Empire. In this new dimension the Nestorians prospered and spread throughout the East, so much so that they formed communities in Turkey, Persia, Central Asia, India, China and even Mongolia. Following the entry of Tamerlane, however, the Nestorians suffered incredible losses, so much so that they lost much of their incredible influence and set off on an inevitable decline, definitively sanctioned by the schism of 1552.

Chaldean Catholic Church
A Chaldean Catholic Church in Australia

The latter occurred after the then patriarch, Shemon VII Ishoyahb, appointed his fifteen-year-old nephew, Eliya, as his successor, causing a total break with the bishops of Diyarbakir and Salmas, who appointed the abbot of the monastery of Rabban Ormisda as patriarch. , Shimun VIII. Noting the fracture that had arisen, the Pope at the time, Julius III, promised him an official recognition on condition that he accepted the sovereignty of the Church of Rome, thus giving life to the Chaldean Catholic Church. However, this union was not incredibly iron and already in 1662 Shimun XII broke communion with Rome and adhered again to the Nestorian faith, giving life to two different Nestorian patriarchates. In 1667, however, Yosep I converted to Catholicism, being recognized 10 years later by the Ottoman government as the Catholic patriarch of Diyarbakir and Mardin and officially obtaining office from Rome in 1681. Once in Yosep IV the problems returned, so much so that Rome was for a long time undecided as to who to entrust the position, thus giving rise to a series of internal clashes that saw the end only in 1830, when Yukhannan VIII Hormizd took charge. Due to events such as the Assyrian genocide, the arrival of communism in the Caucasus and the attacks by Daesh, the Chaldean Catholic Church has suffered heavy blows, but continues to resist with about 628,000 faithful scattered across the Middle East, Oceania and the USA.

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