By Miriam Raftery
East County Magazine was granted an exclusive interview yesterday with Bishop Mar Schlemon Warduni, who has been serving as interim Bishop and apostolic administrator of St.Peter Chaldean Catholic Diocese since May, following the retirement of Bishop Sarhad Jammo. Bishop Warduni leaves the U.S. today to head for Rome and then Iraq, awaiting appointment of a permanent Bishop for the San Diego region.
Bishop Warduni has long served in Baghdad, Iraq under Patriarch Mar Louis Sako, and as Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops Council. He has worked to build over20 projects serving Christians in Iraq, including a church, senior citizens home, student/youth complex, homes for priests and a Bishop’s house. (Read his full biography here.)
In our interview, Bishop Warduni discussed the plight of Christians in Iraq and in refugee camps, the challenges of keeping Chaldean culture alive, the controversy over Father Noel Gorgis being asked to leave the diocese, and Bishop Warduni’s hopes for the future.