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» 04/11/2005
IRAQ - VATICAN
Pope, example of humility to Iraqi Christians
A crowded memorial mass was held in Mosul for the Pope; in Baghdad seminarians compose a hymn to honour the Pontiff, 'pastor, apostle and father".

Mosul (AsiaNews) – John Paul II never made it to Iraq but Iraqi Christians always felt him close to them and comforted by his protection, this according to Mgr Paulos Faraj Rahho, Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul.

Since the December 7, 2004, terrorist attack against the Bishop's residence in Mosul the Pope has become an indispensable point of reference for the city's suffering Christian community.

"The Pope's photo hanging on a wall was the only thing left untouched by the blast. Our parishioners saw this as a confirmation that the Pope was constantly praying for Iraq," he said.

Archbishop Rahho, who met the Pope in 2001 during the Chaldean Synod, said that he "always admired his boundless humility".

He remembers that it was from him that he learnt how important it was to be open to the young, who are the future of the Church.

"His closeness to the young," the prelate said, "has given the Church new life and made his presence felt in this suffering world".

Since 1993, Archbishop Rahho has organised a "youth week" twice a year in Mosul.

In this northern Iraqi city, young people feel close to John Paul II.

For Fadi Labbo, 26, a pharmacist, "he was the symbol of humility and peace; so many enemies sitting side by side at his funeral proves it".

Yazin Ghazala, 27, was hoping to go to World Youth Day in Cologne (Germany) to see the Pope. "Charismatic figures like him are hard to find," he said.

On April 8, the day of the Pope's funeral, the Archbishop celebrated mass in Mosul's Saint George's monastery. It was co-celebrated by Mgr Georges Casmoussa, the Syrian Catholic Archbishop of Mosul.

Many faithful attended the service, so did two Syrian Orthodox bishops, an Assyrian bishop and a pastor from Mosul's Armenian Orthodox Church.

In Baghdad Christians also experienced the death of John Paul II with great emotion.

A local source told AsiaNews that in the Chaldean seminary some students wrote a hymn in honour of the Pope.

"The hymn speaks of the Pope as chosen by the Holy Spirit," the anonymous source said, to be "a pastor, an apostle, a father".

The hymn's lyrics also include the Pope's call "not to be afraid". (MA)


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See also
08/01/2005 IRAQ
In Mosul 81 children meet the challenge of their First Communion
04/06/2005 LEBANON - VATICAN
Thousands honour Pope in Harissa
04/06/2005 BANGLADESH - VATICAN
A mystic and missionary Pope touched the heart of Muslims in Bangladesh
08/01/2005 IRAQ
The Church in Iraq does not give in to terrorism
11/11/2004 VATICAN – PALESTINE
Arafat: May peace return between two states, Pope says
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The Pope's legacy in the two Koreas
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Turkey, an ecumenical and inter-religious gesture for John Paul II
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Three million mourners in Rome for Pope's funeral
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May Russian Catholics harvest the fruits of the Pope's labour
JORDAN - VATICAN
Tributes to the Peoples' Pope
NORTH KOREA – VATICAN
N Koreans hold Mass for late Pope
ASIA - VATICAN
Prayers and mourning for Pope's funeral throughout Asia
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A million people attend John Paul II's funeral
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Rome prepares for the funeral of John Paul II
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Asia united in St Peter's to say goodbye to the Pope
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Mgr Capalla: The Pope's legacy for the Philippines: a culture of life and missionary zeal
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North Korea sends condolences for Pope's death
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Emotion and pride over the Pope among Kazakhs
BANGLADESH - VATICAN
A mystic and missionary Pope touched the heart of Muslims in Bangladesh
SOUTH KOREA - VATICAN
The missionary Pope, a great friend of all Koreans
Taiwan – Vatican – China
Taiwanese president, Chen Shuibian, to attend the Pope's funeral
SYRIA - VATICAN
Pope like a new John the Baptist, says Patriarch of Damascus
PAKISTAN – VATICAN
The pope, an unforgettable personality for Christians and Muslims in Pakistan
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The Pope's legacy is in his message of peace, says Bishop of Karachi
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vietnam - vatican
Vietnamese honour the holy man who never visited them
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India mourns the death of the Pope who beatified Mother Teresa and honoured Gandhi
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Card Sfeir and Pres Lahoud in Rome for Pope's funeral
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Assad will attend Pope's funeral
CHINA – VATICAN
Condolences for the Pope and new arrests of bishops and priests in Peking
IRAQ - VATICAN
From Heaven the Pope will continue to pray for Iraq, says the Bishop of Mosul
LEBANON - VATICAN
The Pope: Lebanon mourns the loss of a steadfast defender of the land of the cedars
ISRAEL – PALESTINE – HOLY LAND
The Pope was always close to the sufferings of the peoples of the Holy Land, says Patriarch Sabbah
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Dalai Lama mourns John Paul II, "a true spiritual practitioner"
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Sr Nirmala: the Pope and Mother Teresa, united in a shared vision about life and the world
hong kong - china - vatican
Pope s regret was "not to have the chance to visit China", Bishop Zen says
JAPAN - VATICAN
In Japan, the Pope is remembered as "a father".

Editor's choices
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Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
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Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
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Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

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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