Emmanuel III Delly

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His Eminent Beatitude
  • Emmanuel III Delly
  • ܡܪܝ ܥܡܢܘܐܝܠ ܬܠܝܬܝܐ ܕܠܝ
  • مار عمانوئيل الثالث دلّي
Patriarch Emeritus of Babylon of the Chaldeans
Native name ܡܪܝ ܥܡܢܘܐܝܠ ܬܠܝܬܝܐ ܕܠܝ
See Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon
Appointed 3 December 2003
Term ended 19 December 2012
Predecessor Raphael I Bidawid
Successor Louis Raphaël I Sako
Ordination 21 December 1952
Consecration 16 April 1963
by Paul II Cheikho
Created Cardinal 24 November 2007
by Pope Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Bishop
Personal details
Birth name Emmanuel Karim Delly
Born September 27, 1927
Tel Keppe, Iraq
Died April 8, 2014(2014-04-08) (aged 86)
San Diego, California
Denomination Chaldean Catholic
Residence Iraq
Previous post
  • Auxiliary Bishop of Babylon (1962-1997)
  • Titular Bishop of Palaeopolis in Asia (1962-1967)
  • Titular Archbishop of Kaskar dei Caldie (1967-2003)
  • Curial Bishop of Babylon (1997-2002)
  • Chaldean Archbishop of Baghdad (2003-2012)

Mar Emmanuel III Delly (Syriac: ܡܪܝ ܥܡܢܘܐܝܠ ܬܠܝܬܝܐ ܕܠܝ, Arabic: مار عمانوئيل الثالث دلّي‎) (September 27, 1927 – April 8, 2014) was the Patriarch Emeritus of Babylon of the Chaldeans and former Primate of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic sui juris Particular church of the Catholic Church and a Cardinal. An ethnic Chaldean, he was born in Tel Keppe and was ordained a priest on December 21, 1952. He was ordained a bishop ten years later in December 1962 at the age of 35. He was elected Patriarch of the Chaldean Church on December 3, 2003, succeeding the late Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid. He was created a Cardinal Bishop on November 24, 2007.


Episcopal coat of arms of the Patriarchial See of Babylon

Since his election as Patriarch in December 2003, Mar Emmanuel III Delly has continued to work for the Chaldean Church. In Iraq, the Chaldean Church, which is the largest Christian group, consists of eight dioceses totaling 100 parishes and approximately 600,000 people. Additionally, there are another eight dioceses outside of Iraq, in countries including Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Europe, Australia, Canada and the U.S. It is estimated that the Chaldean population is over one and a half million devotees world wide.

Mar Emmanuel III Delly is well known for his respect and cooperation with leaders of other churches and faiths, mainly Muslims.[1] Mar Emmanuel III Delly acts as a spiritual father, not only to the whole Chaldean Church, now scattered all over the world, but to all Christians in Iraq, especially in these times of great hardships.

During his 42 years as a bishop, Mar Emmanuel III Delly's contributions to the Chaldean Church include building of many churches in and outside of Iraq. This includes the establishment of the College of Babylon, as a philosophy and theology institution. Also, he spiritually supervises the Chaldean monasteries and convents. Mar Emmanuel III Delly oversees several Chaldean religious journals and publications. He is well known for his administrative abilities and love of his people.

On October 17, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would make Mar Emmanuel III Delly a Cardinal.[2] Delly was elevated to the College of Cardinals in the consistory at St. Peter's Basilica on November 24, 2007.[3][4] Pope Benedict XVI said on this occasion that by naming Emmanuel III Delly cardinal, he was demonstrating his "spiritual closeness and [his] affection" for Iraqi Christians.[4]

On 19 December 2012 Cardinal Delly resigned as patriarch of Chaldean Catholic Church and Pope Benedict named Archeparch Jacques Ishaq as administrator ad interim. At the same time Pope Benedict convoked a synod to be held to Rome of the Chaledean Church to choose a successor to Cardinal Delly.[5] Cardinal Delly then retired to San Diego, home to a large Chaldean Catholic community.

Cardinal Delly died on Tuesday, 8 April 2014, at age 86, in San Diego, California. Upon hearing of his death, Pope Francis stated, in an official statement of condolence to Cardinal Delly's successor as Patriarch of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako,: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch Emeritus of Babylon of the Chaldeans. I offer you, the clergy, men and women religious and lay faithful of the Patriarchate, both in Iraq and in the diaspora, my condolences and the assurance of my prayers. I recall with deep gratitude the late Patriarch’s dedication to his people and to the promotion of respectful, just and peaceful relations with followers of other religious traditions. I join you and all who mourn the passing of this esteemed Pastor in commending his noble soul to the infinite mercy of God our loving Father, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and hope in the Lord." The Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, also sent a message of condolence,: "I offer you, your brother Bishops and the entire Church in Iraq my heartfelt sympathy on the passing of His Beatitude Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly. I pray that the Lord whom he served with fidelity will grant him eternal rest."[6]

His funeral mass and last rites was held at St. Peter's Chaldean Catholic Cathedral in San Diego and at Mother of God Cathedral in Detroit. He is buried in Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Detroit. This is the first time a Chaldean patriarch has been buried outside the homeland.

Educational degrees[edit]


Mar Emmanuel III Delly spoke Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, French, Italian, Latin, and English fluently.[9]

Episcopal lineage[edit]


  1. ^ Iraqi cardinal-to-be says he is symbol of national unity http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/20071123/twl-vatican-pope-iraq-3cd7efd_1.html
  2. ^ "Annuncio di Concistorio per la Creazione di nuovi Cardinali" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 2007-10-17. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  3. ^ "Concistoro Ordinario Pubblico per la Creazione di Ventitré Nuovi Cardinali (continuazione)" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 2007-11-24. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  4. ^ a b "Pope elevates new cardinals, expresses solidarity with Iraqi Christians", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), November 23, 2007.
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2014/04/09/0255/00572.html
  7. ^ a b c Carol Glatz, Pope acknowledges Iraq's beleaguered Catholics by naming cardinal. Catholic News Service, Oct. 17, 2007. The article mentions that the philosophy degree is a master's degree, but the degree given at the Urbaniana is a license. Pontifical Urbaniana University—Faculty of Philosophy—Program of Studies (accessed Nov. 13, 2007).
  8. ^ Frederik Pleitgen and Saad Abedine. CNN.com. http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/11/19/iraq.christians/ Keeping Christianity Alive
  9. ^ Gamel, Kim. "Chaldean Patriarch Seeks Ties to Muslims", Associated Press, October 30, 2007.[dead link]

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Raphael I Bidawid
Patriarch of Babylon
of the Chaldean Catholic Church

Succeeded by
Louis Raphaël I Sako