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» 03/17/2008
VATICAN
Like Mgr Rahho Iraqi Christians must continue building peace, says Pope
This morning Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in memory of the slain bishop of Mosul. “May his example sustain all Iraqis of good will, Christians and Muslims, in building peaceful co-existence based on human brotherhood and mutual respect.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Iraqi Christians should follow the example of Mgr Paulos Rahho “and persevere in the commitment to building a peaceful and understanding society on a path towards progress and peace” and create together with Muslims co-existence that is based on “brotherhood and respect.” The slain bishop of Mosul was still in Benedict XVI’s mind as he celebrated Mass in his memory in the ‘Redemptoris Mater’ Chapel in Rome.

If in yesterday’s Angelus the Pope told Iraqis, “Enough with the massacres; enough with the violence; enough with hatred in Iraq;” today his thoughts turned to the much-tried Chaldean community and the dead bishop’s teachings.

“The liturgical context in which we find ourselves is the most eloquent possible,” he said. “These are days in which we re-live the last moments in Jesus’ earthly life: tragic hours, full of love and fear, especially in the disciples’ soul; hours in which truth and lies were clearly demarcated, between Christ’s meekness and rectitude and his enemies’ violence and deception.”

Turning his mind on purpose to the slain bishop, he said: “I am thinking about the Sacred Chrism that anointed Monsignor Rahho’s forehead when he was baptised and christened, that anointed his hands the day of his priestly ordination, and then his head and hands when he was consecrated bishop. But I am also thinking about the many anointments of filial love, spiritual friendship, and devotion by his faithful upon his person, which accompanied him in the terrible hours of his abduction and painful captivity, when perhaps he was hurt, till his agony and death, till the shameful burial place in which his mortal remains were eventually found. These sacramental and spiritual anointments were however tokens of resurrection, of the true and full life our Lord Jesus came to give us!”

“Monsignor Rahho took his cross and followed his lord Jesus,” said the Holy Father. “Thus he contributed to bringing lawfulness to his martyred country and the world, bearing witness to the truth. He was a man of peace and dialogue. I knew he was particularly involved with  the poor and the disabled. In order to provide the latter with physical and psychological assistance he founded a special associated called Farah wa Mahabba (Joy and Charity), whose task was to enhance their status whilst supporting their families. From him many learnt not to hide away such members but rather see Christ in them. May his example sustain all Iraqis of good will, Christians and Muslims, in building peaceful co-existence based on human brotherhood and mutual respect.”

“These days,” added the Pope, “in deep union with the Chaldean community in Iraq and around the world we weep for his death and the inhuman way he ended his earthly life. But today in this Eucharist which we offer for his consecrated soul, we want to thank God for all the good he has accomplished in him and through him. And at the same time we wish to hope that from Heaven he will intercede with the Lord to obtain for his much tried faithful on this the courage to continue working for a better future.”

Benedict XVI concluded saying that as “beloved Bishop Paulos unreservedly invested himself for his people, so may his fellow Christians persevere in the commitment to build a peaceful and understanding society on the path towards progress and pace.”


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See also
04/18/2008 IRAQ
Love for our “Muslim brothers and for Iraq” in Mgr Rahho’s Will
08/01/2005 IRAQ
The Church in Iraq does not give in to terrorism
03/14/2008 IRAQ
Mosul Christians, angry and desperate
08/01/2005 IRAQ
In Mosul 81 children meet the challenge of their First Communion
05/30/2005 IRAQ – YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
A week to celebrate the Year of the Eucharist in Mosul diocese

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
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"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

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