10/14/2008, 00.00
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Cardinal Delly: the situation in Iraq is disastrous, tragic, and worse by the day

The head of the Chaldean Church, speaking at the synod of bishops, describes a country in which "life is a Calvary," "everyone is afraid of being kidnapped," and the number of deaths caused by car bombings and suicide bombings is on the rise. Commemoration of Archbishop Rahho and Fr. Ganni.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The dramatic situation of the Christians in Iraq echoed today in the hall of the synod of bishops, at the Vatican, described in strongly dramatic terms by Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, head of the synod of the Chaldean Church. It is a situation that has brought support, among political circles both inside and outside of Iraq, for the idea of creating a sort of Christian enclave in the province of Nineveh. But the idea has received scant support among the bishops and clergy of the country - the cardinal made no mention of it - in that it is contrary to the evangelical concept of the Church's mission. "The situation in some parts of Iraq," Cardinal Delly said, "is disastrous and tragic. Life is a Calvary: there is no peace or security, just as there is a lack of daily necessities. There are continuing shortages of electricity, water, gasoline, telephone communications are increasingly difficult, entire roads are blocked, schools are closed or always in danger, hospitals are on short staff, the people are afraid for their safety. Everyone is afraid of kidnapping, frightened by the intimidation. And what can be said of the unjustifiable kidnappings that take place on a daily basis, harming entire families and often depriving them of their loved ones, even though they have paid tens of thousands of dollars for a release that never happens? Not to mention the increasing number of deaths caused by car bombs and suicide bombings."

"Living the word of God," he continued, "for us means bearing witness even at the cost of our own lives, as has taken place and is still happening with the sacrifice of bishops, priests, and faithful. They remain in Iraq, strong in faith and love of Christ, thanks to the fire of the word of God. For this reason, I beg you to pray for us and with us to the Lord Jesus, the Word of God, and to share our concerns, our hopes, and the pain of our wounds, so that the Word of God made flesh may remain in his Church and with us as good news and as support. Sixteen of our priests and two of our bishops have been kidnapped and released after an extremely high ransom. Some of them belong to the ranks of the new martyrs who today pray for us in heaven: the archbishop of Mosul, Faraj Rahho, Fr. Raghid Ganni, two other priests, and six more young men."

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