Archbishop Louis Sako
The bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church elected Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk to be the new patriarch of the Iraq-based church, and Pope Benedict formally welcomed the election of the new patriarch.
After four days of prayer and discussion, the 15 Chaldean Catholic bishops elected Sako late Jan. 31 as successor to 85-year-old Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad.
As is customary for the patriarchs of the Eastern churches in union with Rome, newly elected Patriarch Sako formally requested communion, or unity, with the pope.
The Vatican announced Feb. 1 that the pope had extended "ecclesial communion" to him.