The 85 year old Chaldean Patriarch and Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly resigned today.
The Pope accepted his resignation and has called for a special synod of bishops of the Chaldean Church to meet on January 28, 2013 to be supervised by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.
The Chaldean Church will be governed by Archbishop Jacques Ishaq, 74, a curial bishop. The Chaldean Church in Iraq numbers about 450K+ and 1.5 million worldwide.
Patriarch Emmanuel III was ordained 60 years ago today; has been a bishop since 1963. When he was elected he was a retired bishop. Benedict XVI nominated him a cardinal in 2007.
Delly attended several sessions of Vatican II.
The Orthodox equivalent to the Chaldean Church is The Assyrian Church of the East who has its headquarters in Chicago, governed by Patriarch Dinkha IV. In the USA, there are two Catholic eparchies for the Chaldeans, one in Michigan and one in southern California. Whether Orthodox or Catholic, these church in Iraq considers the Apostle Saint Thomas to be a founder of the Church. Since November 11, 1994, the Church of Rome and the Church of the East (the Orthodox group) signed the Common Christological Declaration meaning that the Churches held Chalcedonian faith in Christ’s humanity and divinity.