2008-03-01 10:09:00

Pope Decries Abduction and Killings of Christians in Iraq

(01 Mar 08 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI has strongly denounced the kidnapping of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho.

Monsignor Baptiste Georges Casmoussa, Syriac archbishop of Mosul, confirmed that his brother Archbishop was leaving the church of the Holy Spirit after having celebrated the 'via crucis' when he was approached by some men who took him along with his driver and two assistants.
All three people who were with him were killed by the gunmen.

The Holy Father was immediately informed of the tragic episode and the Vatican press office shortly afterwards released the following statement:

“Msgr. Rahho had just concluded the celebration of the ‘Way of the Cross’ a religious rite that is of dear and particular significance to the faithful of Iraq. This leads one to think that this criminal act was premeditated”.

“Embittered by this latest execrable act, which deeply wounds the entire Church in the country and in particular the Chaldean Church, the Pope feels close to the Patriarch Card. Emmanuel III Delly and all of the Christian community, which has been severely tested, as well as the families of the victims. The Pontiff invites the Universal Church to unite in fervent prayer so that reason and humanity may prevail in the minds of the authors of this attack, and that Msgr. Raho is restored to the care of his flock as soon as possible. He also renews his hope that the Iraqi people may find the path to reconciliation and peace”.
 Speaking from Mosul, monsignor Casmoussa said they are awaiting further news from the kidnappers.

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