A new Chaldean line appeared in the early nineteenth century, when Bishop Yuhanna Hormizd, a cousin of the catholicos of the Church of the East, converted to Catholicism and obtained the see of Mosul. Hormizd was in competition for the title of patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans with the Josephite line, which opportunely came to an end in 1830. On 5 July 1830 Pope Pius VIII (1829-30) then conferred the patriarchal title on Hormizd, creating a single line of Chaldean patriarchs that continues to the present.60
The seat of the patriarchate was fixed at Mosul; and in 1846 the Ottoman Porte recognised the Chaldeans as a millet in their own right. This was followed by the election of Joseph Audo (1847-78) as patriarch. His long reign witnessed renewed conflict between the Chaldean Church and Rome.61 Confronted by growing anticlericalism in Europe, the papacy was in no position to adjust its polemic to the particular needs ofa remote constituency such as the Chaldean Catholics of a distant Ottoman province. It insisted on extending pontifical prerogatives into the administration of the Chaldean Church. Relations of Audo with the Propaganda focused at first on the relationship of the Chaldean Church with its sister church in India. The traditional dependence ofthe latter on the former (solemnly approved by Pius IV in i562) had lapsed. Requests made to the Propaganda by Malabar Christians for permission to restore their old relationship with the Chaldean Church met with refusal. They therefore turned from 1849 onwards to Patriarch Audo, who in the face of papal displeasure consecrated Thomas Rokkos in i860 as bishop for India. The apostolic delegate to Mesopotamia thundered excommunication. Pius IX tacitly denied the excommunication but in 1861 summoned Audo to Rome, where the latter reluctantly agreed to stop interfering in the affairs ofthe Malabar Church. This was not the only issue on which Audo was at loggerheads with Pius IX. In 1869, after initial hesitations, Audo opposed the pope's decision to appropriate to the Holy See the appointment of bishops of eastern rite churches. Like other opponents of this measure, he received an invitation to attend the first Vatican Council of 1869-70, where he once again gave in to papal pressure. His discomfort and resentment is evident in a long and rather ponderous speech he made to the council, in which he defended the legitimacy of oriental disciplinary traditions. On the question of papal infallibility he voted with the minority. So it comes as no surprise that in i876 he dispatched another bishop to India, thus producing a schism in the Malabar Church. Pius IX reacted vigorously
60 J. Habbi, 'L'unification de la hierarchie chaldéenne dans la premiere moitie du XIX siecle', Parole de l'Orient 2 (1971), 121-43, 305-27.
61 C. Korolevskij, 'Audo (Joseph)', in Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclesiastique v (Paris: Letouzey et Ane, 1931), 317-56.
Was this article helpful?