Raphael I Bidawid
|Raphael I Bidawid|
|Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans|
|Church||Chaldean Catholic Church|
|See||Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon|
|Installed||May 21, 1989|
|Term ended||July 7, 2003|
|Predecessor||Paul II Cheikho|
|Successor||Emmanuel III Delly|
|Ordination||October 22, 1944|
|Consecration||October 6, 1957
by Yousef VII Ghanima
|Birth name||Raphael J. Bidawid|
|Born||April 17, 1922
|Died||July 7, 2003
Mar Raphael I Bidawid † (Syriac: ܪܘܦܐܝܠ ܩܕܡܝܐ ܒܝܬ ܕܘܝܕ, Arabic مار روفائيل الاول بيداويد)(April 17, 1922 – July 7, 2003) was the patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in 1989–2003. He was also a Syriac scholar.
He was born on April 17, 1922 in northern Iraqi city of Mosul into an ethnic Assyrian family, and took his school and seminar training in Mosul. He was ordained a priest on October 22, 1944 in Rome and in 1946 he obtained the academic degrees of doctor of philosophy and theology. Between 1948 and 1956 he worked as a professor of philosophy and theology in Mosul. On October 6, 1957, at the age of 35, he was ordained Bishop of Amadiyah, by Patriarch Yousef VII Ghanima. As bishop of Amadiyah he experienced the mass exodus of Christians from Northern Iraq. Mar Raphael Bidawid was then appointed bishop of Beirut in 1966.
On March 21, 1989 Raphael I Bidawid was elected Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldean Catholic Church. His election was confirmed by Pope John Paul II in June 1989. During his Patriarchate, he established Babylon College which became an instrumental educational institution for the Chaldean Church. He could speak 13 languages. He died in Beirut on July 7, 2003.
He once described Saddam Hussein as "a real gentleman". Saddam's foreign minister Tariq Aziz (real name Mikhael Youkhanna) was an Assyrian of the Chaldean church, and the church enjoyed some protection during his rule.
In an interview with Bidawid, published in 2003, he commented on the Assyrian name dispute and declared his ethnic point of view:
- “I personally think that these different names serve to add confusion. The original name of our Church was the ‘Church of the East’ … When a portion of the Church of the East became Catholic, the name given was ‘Chaldean’ based on the Magi kings who came from the land of the Chaldean, to Bethlehem. The name ‘Chaldean’ does not represent an ethnicity… We have to separate what is ethnicity and what is religion… I myself, my sect is Chaldean, but ethnically, I am Assyrian.”
In an interview with the Assyrian Star in the September–October 1974 issue, he was quoted as saying:
- “Before I became a priest I was an Assyrian, before I became a bishop I was an Assyrian, I am an Assyrian today, tomorrow, forever, and I am proud of it.”
Paul II Cheikho
|Patriarch of Babylon
of the Chaldean Catholic Church
Emmanuel III Delly
- Raphael J. Bidawid, Les lettres du patriarche nestorien Timothee I, Studi e Testi 187, Vatican City (1956)
- "Archbishop Raphaël I Bidawid". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- Kiraz, George A.. "Mar Raphael Bidawid (1922-2003)". Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- "Obituary - Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid". The Independent. 2003-07-12. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- Parpola, Simo (2004). "National and Ethnic Identity in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Assyrian Identity in Post-Empire Times" (PDF). Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (JAAS) 18 (2): pp. 22.
- Mar Raphael J Bidawid. The Assyrian Star. September–October, 1974:5.