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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
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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