Dinkha IV bigraphy, stories - 120th Patriarch of the Church of the East

Dinkha IV : biography

15 September 1935 -

Mar Dinkha IV (Syriac: and ), born Dinkha Khanania (born 15 September 1935), is the current Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East. He was born in the village of Darbandokeh (Derbendoki), Iraq, and was baptized in the Church of Mar Qaryaqos located in the village of his birth. He is the fourth in the line of succession to the Bishopric of Urmia.

Tenure as Catholicos-Patriarch

After the assassination of Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII, the Church of the East had an urgent need to restore its leadership. In 1976, the prelates of the church convened in London to elect a new Catholicos Patriarch and chose Dinkha as the most qualified candidate to fill the post. He was consecrated on 17 October 1976, in the West London Church of St. Barnabas, Ealing.Joseph, p.252 With this consecration, Mar Dinkha IV became the successor to the Apostolic See of Seleucia-Ctesiphon (Babylon). He also announced that the hereditary line of succession for the Patriarchy which had existed for 500 yearsBaumer, p. 247 was discontinued with his tenure, allowing any cleric from the Church of the East to be elevated to Catholicos-Patriarch.Baumer, p. 244

Dinkha established headquarters—along with four other houses of worship—in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in part due to the instability of the Iran–Iraq War. This conflict as well as Saddam Hussein's policy of Arabization in Iraq, the Gulf War and subsequent sanctions against Iraq intensified the Assyrian diaspora from the region. Meanwhile, the Islamic Revolution and Shi'a emphasis in Iran created a tense situation for Assyrians in the Middle East.Baum, pp. 150–151 During the reign of Shimun XXIII and Dinkha IV, American membership in the Church of the East has gone from 3,200 in the 1950s to approximately 100,000 in 2008.Baum, p. 155

In 2005, the Patriarch conducted discussions with President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani on returning to the Apostolic See in northern Iraq and constructing a new residence in Ankawa.Baumer, p. 270 On 15 July 2007, Mar Dinkha celebrated 50 years of his priesthood. A ceremony was held at St. George Cathedral in Chicago, where a portion of Ashland Avenue was renamed "His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV Blvd". In 2008, he received an honorary degree from the University of Chicago, in part because of his emphasis on education—he has a stated goal of only appointing theologians with doctoral degrees to the position of bishop.Baumer, p. 272

Works cited

Early life

Khanania (also written as (Denkha Kh'nanya)) gained his elementary education under the tutorship of his grandfather, Benyamin Soro. In 1947—at the age of eleven—he was entrusted to the care of Mar Yousip Khnanisho, Metropolitan and the Patriarchal representative for all Iraq, the second-highest ranking ecclesiastic of the Assyrian Church of the East.Baum, p. 150 After two years of study, he was ordained deacon in the church of Mar Youkhana in Harir by Mar Yousip on 12 September 1949. On 15 July 1957, he was ordained to the priesthood, and appointed to minister Urmia, Iran.

Dinkha's priesthood as Metropolitan of Iran and Tehran reestablished a line of succession which had ceased to exist after the 1915 assassination of his predecessor.Baum, p. 147 In 1962, Dinkha moved from northern Iraq to Tehran. During his tenure in Iran, he established a seminary and advocated for Assyrian nationalism and ecumenism. Responding to popular demand, Catholicos-Patriarch Mar Eshai Shimun XXIII consecrated Khananya as bishop on 11 February 1962, in the church of Martyr Mar Gewargis in Tehran.

Travels and ecumenism

Dinkha has made ecumenism a priority during his reign,Baumer, p. 280 as well as advocacy for the Assyrian people.Baumer, p. 7

Relations with the Catholic Church

Dinkha has promoted closer relations with the Catholic Church, both with the Vatican and the Chaldean Catholic Church; he first met Pope John Paul II immediately after the Pope's election in 1978Baum, p. 152 and made his first visit to the Vatican in 1984.Joseph, p. 253 The two continued to meet informally over the next decade. After a decision by the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East to have better relations with the Roman Catholic Church in 1994,Bailey, p. 131 Dinkha agreed to a Joint Christological Declaration with the Holy See.Bailey, p. 42 The "Common Christological Declaration between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East" declares that it is "[a] basic step on the way towards the full communion to be restored between their Churches;" emphasized common doctrinal positions between the two bodies, such as the Nicene Creed; and clarifies that the centuries the two have spent out of communion were due to geographic and cultural issues rather than doctrinal differences.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine