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Chaldean Bishop Says Education in Democracy Key to Enduring Peace in Iraq
By Rita Abro :: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 :: 61576 Views :: Article Rating :: Government & Society, World News & Odds 'N' Ends

Washington DC, USA - While Iraq’s most dreadful year of 2006 is still comparably safer than some of America’s most popular cities the Democratic leaders in congress still wish to surrender the conflict.   Petraeus demonstrated a significant drop in violence since 2006 and still the Democratic leaders remained unconvinced of the need to stay in Iraq. 

Mgr Rabban al-Qas, Chaldean bishop of Ahmadiya, in Northern Iraq, speaking a day after the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, began presenting his report to the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees of the US Congress on the impact of the recent surge of US troops in Iraq says progress has been made, but “A concrete solution to the Iraqi crisis must come from the people themselves, not from the barrel of the gun.”

Iraqi Chaldean bishop acknowledges the dramatic drop in violence and adds it is time to educate the population to peace.  “An enduring solution though must come from Iraqis themselves, from educating the people to the values of peace and democracy learnt since 2003,” says Mgr Rabban al-Qas.

General Petraeus said that most objectives had been met by the troop reinforcement. Progress has been reported in the area of security, and sectarian violence has dropped.

The General made clear that the current situation remains unstable, preventing an immediate troop withdrawal.  The general did say though that around 30,000 troops could be drawn down from the current level of 168,000 by the middle of next year.  The General also added that the  request by Iraqi leaders to remain in order to assist the fledgling democracy. 

The Iraqi government welcomed General Petraeus’s report. Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie praised the “enormous sacrifice” made by the United States, predicting a reduced combat role for US troops, adding however that his government opposed any quick pullout.

In Baghdad many residents have noticed a drop in the level of violence, but “not enough to go out without fear.”  From talks with his contacts in the capital, Bishop al-Qas said that suicide attacks have declined in the last few months. In his view, the war has “entered a second phase.”

“Now that some results have been achieved against terrorism, albeit small ones, after Washington changed its attitude towards Iraq, it is also time for Iraqis to change attitudes. We must educated the young to peace and instil the democratic values that have started circulating in the country in the last four years,” he said.

“Now we must open the doors to reconciliation whilst ensuring security.”

General Petraeus and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker are continuing today the presentation of their report to Congress.

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.