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Monday, 27 November 2006
Page: 21

Mr BOWEN (1:54 PM) —On 8 October I was honoured to attend the installation of Archbishop Gabriel Kassab as Bishop of the Chaldean Catholic Church for Australia and New Zealand, and I welcome him to the gallery today. He is accompanied by Deacon Janan Hanan; Samir Youseff, President of the Chaldean National Congress; and former Mayor of Fairfield, Anwar Khoshaba. Present at his installation were the Catholic Bishop of Bathurst and representatives of sister churches. Archbishop Kassab was first ordained as a bishop by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in 1995. He has been a priest since 1961. He is the first Bishop for Australia and New Zealand for the Chaldean Church. The Chaldean community is well known and respected in my electorate and throughout Australia. It is a very ancient faith.

May I again, in the House today, put on record the need to protect the rights of minorities in Iraq, as represented by the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Mandaeans and others. The situation in Iraq now is desperate, and we as a House must continually remind the coalition of the willing and others that the minorities in Iraq need protection. There are thousands of refugees in Syria and Jordan who are fleeing persecution in Iraq as we speak, and many more thousands have of course tragically lost their lives. I again welcome the archbishop to the gallery today, and I wish him well in his time as Archbishop for Australia and New Zealand. (Time expired)