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» 10/15/2007
IRAQ
Mosul: Syro-Catholic priests still in the hands of their captors
Negotiations are underway to free priests abducted on Saturday. Pope appealed for their release yesterday. Some Iraqi Christians criticise Baghdad’s ‘indifference’ towards the plight of kidnapped Iraqi clergymen.

Ankawa (AsiaNews) – The two Syro-Catholic priests, who were abducted in Mosul on Saturday and whose release Pope Benedict XVI called for in yesterday’s Angelus, are still in the hands of their captors, Christian website www.Ankawa.com reported this morning. On its Arabic page, it criticises the central government which “continues to ignore the problem of Iraqi clergymen” and fails “to investigate and arrest the culprits.”

Sources close to the nunciature told AsiaNews that negotiations are underway and that the Syro-Catholic bishop of Mosul, Mgr Basile George Casmoussa, is working day and night for the release of the two priests. According to some rumours talks are slow because the captors are asking a king’s ransom for letting them go.

Fr Mazen Ishoa, 35, and Fr Pius Afas, 60, were kidnapped by unknown people on their way to celebrate mass at Our Lady of Fatima Parish Church in the al-Faisaliya neighbourhood.


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See also
10/17/2007 IRAQ
Ultimatum for two priests abducted in Mosul, 72 hours to pay the ransom
10/18/2007 IRAQ
Abducted priests in Mosul, bishop slams government indifference
10/16/2007 IRAQ
Angst over two missing priests in Mosul, captors suspend contacts
10/14/2007 IRAQ
Two priests kidnapped in Mosul while travelling to say mass
04/18/2008 IRAQ
Love for our “Muslim brothers and for Iraq” in Mgr Rahho’s Will

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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