Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Enough with the massacres, enough with the violence, enough with hatred in Iraq!": this is the "loud and anguished" cry issued by Benedict XVI at the end of the Mass of the Passion, on Palm Sunday, in commenting on the death of the Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho. The pastor, who was very sick and in need of medicine, had been kidnapped by fundamentalist groups in Iraq and found dead following information given by the kidnappers a few days ago.
The pope recalled "his beautiful witness of faithfulness to Christ, to the Church, and to his people, whom he had not wanted to abandon in spite of many threats", and issued "an appeal to the Iraqi people, who for five years have been bearing the consequences of war that have provoked the disintegration of its civil and social life: dear Iraqi people, lift up your heads and be yourselves, in the first place, the rebuilders of your national life! May reconciliation, forgiveness, justice, and respect for civil coexistence among tribes, ethnicities, and religious groups be the harmonious path to peace in the name of God!".