Having served for many years as a bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East in California, Ashur Soro began to see the similarities between his tradition and the branch of Catholicism called the Chaldean Church. For his attempts to encourage his followers to accept the primacy of the pope and united with the Chaldean Church, he was suspended from the Assyrian church in 2005. In 2014, however, Bishop Ashur Soro was embraced by Pope Francis, who appointed him in the Chaldean Church, with the titular see of Foraziana.
The (Assyrian) Church of the East is one of the oldest versions of Christianity, having originated in the first centuries CE with the Mesopotamian-Babylonian tradition. This Church is also sometimes referred to as the “Nestorian” church”, the Persian church, or the Syrian church.
The Chaldean tradition was created in the 16th century when a group of the Church of the East bishops and members broke away to join the Roman Catholic church in acknowledgement of the primacy of the pope.
Despite the similarities between the Assyrian and Chaldean churches, the two Christian traditions remain separate. For some Assyrians, joining the Chaldean church provides an opportunity for greater unity within the Catholic church. For others, however, maintaining independence in the Assyrian tradition is an important way to honor a shared cultural and historical past.