BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church has enthroned a new patriarch during a ceremonial mass in Baghdad held amid tight security.
The 64-year-old Monsignor Louis Sako is replacing retired Emmanuel III Delly. The mass was held Wednesday morning at St. Joseph's Chaldean church in downtown Baghdad. Iraqi security forces sealed off all roads leading to the church.
Last month, bishops of the Eastern rite church chose Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk since 2003, as their patriarch and later, Pope Benedict XVI approved the election.
Sako says he will push for dialogue with Muslim clerics, both Sunnis and Shiites, to ensure co-existence and cooperation in Iraq.
Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraqi Christians have suffered repeated violence by Islamic militants and hundreds of thousands have fled the country.