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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 03/13/2008
IRAQ
The archbishop of Mosul is dead
Bishop of Arbil: "A heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter". The cause of death is still unknown. The pope's expression of sorrow.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - The Chaldean archbishop of Mosul is dead. Archbishop Faraj Rahho was kidnapped last February 29 after the Stations of the Cross.  His kidnappers gave word of his death, indicating to the mediators where they could recover the body of the 67-year-old prelate. "It is a heavy Cross for our Church, ahead of Easter", Bishop Rabban of Arbil tells AsiaNews in response to the news. Leaders of the Chaldean Church, including Bishop Shlemon Warduni, brought the body to the hospital in Mosul to ascertain the causes, still unknown, of the archbishop's death.  The funeral will be held tomorrow in the nearby city of Karamles. Archbishop Rahho will be buried near Fr Ragheed, his priest and secretary killed by a terrorist brigade on June 3, 2007, while leaving the church after celebrating Mass.

The archbishop had been very sick.  He had suffered a heart attack a few years ago, and since then he had needed to take medication every day.  The difficult negotiations for his release carried forward over the past 14 days of his kidnapping had immediately raised concern because of the total absence of direct contact with the hostage.  The conditions posed by the kidnappers - sources in Mosul tell AsiaNews - in addition to an outrageous ransom on the order of millions of dollars, had also included the provision of weapons and the liberation of Arab prisoners held in Kurdish prisons.

The news of Archbishop Rahho's death "profoundly wounds and saddens" the pope, says the director of the Vatican press office, Fr Federico Lombardi.  Benedict XVI hopes that "this tragic event may renew once again and with greater force the efforts of all, and in particular of the international community, for the pacification of this greatly tormented country".  Three times in recent days, the pope had launched an appeal for the liberation of the bishop.  Numerous Muslim leaders had also spoken out for the prelate's release, both Sunnis and Shiites, in Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan, and also condemned the action as "contrary to Islam".


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See also
03/13/2008 IRAQ
The blood tribute of the diocese of Mosul
03/13/2008 VATICAN - IRAQ
Pope, the killing of Archbishop Rahho is "an act of inhuman violence"
03/16/2008 VATICAN - IRAQ
Pope: enough with the massacres, enough with the violence, enough with hatred in Iraq!
03/11/2008 IRAQ
Silence must not descend on Archbishop of Mosul
03/06/2008 IRAQ
Mosul, new contact with the bishop's kidnappers awaited

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

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