CWN -The bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, have concluded a six-day synod in Erbil, Iraq.

The prelates prayed for the liberation of lands conquered by the Islamic State and for peace in Syria and Iraq. They also agreed that priests and religious who left their dioceses without permission from their superiors had to return.

The synod said that the many priests who fled from Iraq and Syria without permission from their bishops have been "raising doubts among the faithful." The final statement from the Chaldean bishops exhorted those priests to "leave their current dioceses immediately" and regularize their status with their diocesan bishops.

The Chaldean Church has been troubled by conflicts between Chaldean communities abroad, which have welcomed priests along with other refugees from the war-torn Middle East, and bishops in Iraq and Syria, who are fighting to maintain an active Christian presence there. The conflicts have provoked tensions particularly in the large Chaldean community in southern California, where one priest, Father Noel Gorgis, has been ordered to leave a local parish.

The bishops also agreed to “changes into the text of the Chaldean Mass, recently prepared and suggested by the new Patriarchate Liturgical Committee based on scripts of 2006 and 2014,” according to the patriarchate. These changes await the approval of the Holy See.

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Teachings of Christ

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)

Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of the masses and the false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning, let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the All-seeing God not to expose us to temptations, since the Lord has said: 'The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'

St. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians