Below, I quoted an American bishop from Iraq’s Assyrian Church of the East as saying on Vatican Radio that the war is “a necessary evil.” I identified the Assyrian church as one of the Eastern Rites of the Roman Catholic Church. A Roman Catholic reader writes this morning to say that’s not true, that the Assyrians are one of the ancient churches of the East that broke away from Catholicism after the Council of Ephesus. The Catholic Church in Iraq, the reader said, are the “Chaldeans.” Sorry for the mistake.
Incidentally, a reader who knows something about the Church situation in Iraq says that non-Chaldean Catholic Christians there have long viewed the Chaldean Catholics as collaborators with Saddam. The reader predicts that there is going to be hell to pay for the Chaldean Catholics after the fall of the Saddam regime, as other Iraqi Christians hold them accountable for their relationship to the dictator. The Vatican’s strong objection to this war has been duly noted by non-Catholic Iraqi Christians, the reader says, and the post-war fallout from that is not going to be pretty.