Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East – 27/3/15
USA: It is great sorrow and a heavy heart that His Beatitude Mar Aprem, Metropolitan of India and Patriarchal Vicar, in unison with all the members of the Holy Synod of the Assyrian Church of the East (absent were Mar Aprhrem Nathniel and Mar Narsai Benyamin due to visa difficulties), announce the falling asleep in the Lord of His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos-Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.
The late Patriarch passed at 10:04 am, this morning (Thursday, March 26, 2015) at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. His Holiness was surrounded by the prelates, clergy and family members. The prelates and clergy were in constant prayer at His Holiness’ bedside. The Patriarch’s viewing will take place on 7th April at St Andrews Church, Illinois and funeral will take place 8th April at St George Cathedral.
+Mar Awa Royel
Secretary of the Holy Synod
His Beatitude Metropolitan Mar Aphrem of India has been elected as the Locums Tenens to the Throne until election of new Patriarch.
Dinkha Khanania was born in Iraq and baptized in the Church of Mar Qaryaqos located in the village of his birth Darbandokeh. 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. 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. He is the fourth in the line of succession to the Bishopric of Urmia.
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. 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.