The School of Theological Studies at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary presents a lecture Monday night on the Catholic Church in the Middle East and the historical challenges it has faced.

Mar Bawai Soro, a Chaldean Catholic Bishop, will speak Monday, Oct. 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. on “The Nestorian Heresy and Islam: Two Trials Confronting the Assyro-Chaldean Church.”

The lecture is free and open to the public, held in Vianney Hall Auditorium at St. Charles Seminary, 100 East Wynnewood Road in Wynnewood.


Mar Bawai was born in Iraq, and emigrated to the United States where he was ordained a priest and bishop in the Assyrian Church of the East. He assists in the Chaldean Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle of San Diego.

His doctoral research is published in the book “The Church of the East: Apostolic and Orthodox.” His tireless work for reconciliation between the Christians of his ancient Eastern tradition and Rome eventually led him personally to seek reception into the Catholic Church. In addition to his dissertation, he is the author of numerous papers and articles on the history and theology of Assyro-Chaldean Christianity.

The Assyro-Chaldean ecclesial tradition is unique among those of Christian antiquity. Its roots are in the Assyrian Church of the East and the Catholic Chaldean Church. It developed entirely outside of the Greco-Roman world, in the sphere of Mesopotamian and Semitic language and culture.

Its geography and its cultural affinities have placed it at the center of major doctrinal controversies, including the Nestorian crisis and the rise of Islam. The Nestorian crisis was a fifth century heresy that divided the church. It focused on the relationship between the humanity and divinity of Jesus.

Islam emerged in the early seventh century and continues to have more than a billion followers worldwide.

Mar Bawai will examine these two great historical challenges and their relationship to each other. He will also explore the relevance of the Nestorian crisis for Christian unity and the church’s coexistence with Islam.

Upcoming lectures in the Seminary Lecture Series include:

Monday, Nov. 7
Presenter: Professor Marc Guerra
Topic: Person or Type — Benedict XVI and Leo Strauss
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 30, 2017
Presenter: Gregory Erlandson
Topic: The Power of the Word — Catholic News Media and Spiritual Formation
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 13, 2017
Presenter: Mary Rice Hasson
Topic: The Cultural Impact of Gender Ideology
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Monday, March 27, 2017
Presenter: Father Robert Spitzer
Topic: The Evidence for God from Contemporary Science — Extending the Legacy of Msgr. George Lemaître
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
John Cardinal Foley Symposium

The Seminary Lecture Series encompasses the Archbishop’s Lecture Series, the Theology Lecture Series, the Philosophy Lecture Series and the Cardinal Foley Lecture Series. It is an opportunity to come to a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith, its authentic content, and its orientation toward the transformation of the world around us.