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Holy Father accepts resignation of Archbishop Hanna Zora; appoints Apostolic Administrator for Chaldean Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto

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zoraOttawa, May 5, 2014 – The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Hanna Zora as Eparchial Bishop of the Chaldean Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto. At the same time, Pope Francis appointed the Reverend Daoud Baffro as the Eparchy's Apostolic Administrator, sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis. Archbishop Zora had turned 75 this past March, the age Eparchial Bishops are required to offer their resignation to their "Patriarch if it is the case of an Eparchial Bishop exercising authority inside the territorial boundaries of a patriarchal Church ... in other cases, it is submitted to the Roman Pontiff" (Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 210).

At the time of his appointment, Father Baffro was Vicar General of the Eparchy and Pastor of Holy Family Chaldean Parish, Windsor, Ontario. His appointment as Apostolic Administrator is at the disposition of the Holy See and for as long as the see is without a Bishop. In announcing this appointment of May 3, 2014, Vatican Information Service also indicated that Father Baffro will serve in the capacity of Apostolic Administrator without being named Bishop. Apostolic Administrators often are Bishops.

The Most Reverend Zora had formerly been Archbishop of the Chaldean Archeparchy of Ahwaz, Iran. When named to the new Canadian Chaldean Eparchy on June 10, 2011, Archbishop Zora was serving as pastor of Good Shepherd Chaldean Parish in North York, Ontario, which until then had been under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. He was born in Batnaia, Iraq, on March 15, 1939; ordained priest on June 10, 1962; appointed Eparchial Archbishop of Ahwaz on May 1, 1974, and ordained Bishop on October 27 the same year.

The Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Chaldean Church, after consultation with the Holy See, established the Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto of the Chaldeans in June, 2011. This decision also involved the Holy See's consultation with the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Eparchy includes all Chaldean Catholics in Canada.

The number of Chaldean Catholics in Canada has greatly increased over recent years, especially because of Iraqi refugees coming to Canada. Many of these have settled in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as Ottawa, with the assistance of local Catholic immigration centres and are also often sponsored by local Roman Catholic parishes. The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate is based in Baghdad, Iraq. Chaldean Catholics have traditionally been located in Iraq, Iran and Syria.

The Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto is the only Chaldean Eparchy in Canada. It has 38,000 Catholics, served by four priests.

Last Updated on Tuesday, May 06 2014  
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According to Statistics Canada the number of Catholics is close to 13 Million or 44 per cent of the country’s total population.