We congratulate His Beatitude Patriarch Emmanuel-Karim III Delly, the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldean Catholics, who has been made Cardinal of Holy Church (not of the Holy Roman Church, this is now the description of Cardinals of the Latin Rite only, Eastern patriarchs in communion with the Holy See are Cardinals of Holy Church). I met Emmanuel III when he was a retired bishop in Baghdad shortly after the first Gulf War, when his predecessor Cardinal Patriarch Rafael had invited a group of Christians to an inter-faith conference to try and get some of the sanctions lifted, particularly those against medical supplies. Upon the death of Patriarch Rafael, Bishop Emmanuel Delly was brought out of retirement and elected Patriarch.
At the Consistory held in St. Peter`s Basilica on 24th November 2007, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI made it clear he was not only honouring the Patriarch, but also all Iraqui Christians and to underline by this action the plight they were in at present. Interviewed later outside the basilica the new Cardinal stated:
We are still in a united Iraq and … I will continue to serve my country with all my strength to the last drop of my blood.
The bestowing of the Red Hat is a reminder to all recipient Cardinals that this could be their fate, the shedding of their blood. We pray that this will not befall Cardinal Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly, but hope for His Beatitude a peaceful reign over the Chaldean Catholics.