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Belief Beat

Pope Watch: Benedict Condemns Violence Against Iraqi Christians, Urges Authorities to Protect Religious Minorities

As a somber reminder that the global Catholic Church has more to worry about than just its clergy abuse scandal and divisive social issues, Pope Benedict has just sent a telegram (I find it unintentionally hilarious that the Vatican still uses these) to Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa of Mosul in Iraq, expressing condolences over the four Christians killed by explosions over the weekend.

The Catholic News Agency story doesn’t say whether the victims were Catholic, but I assume that’s the case — the BBC reports that most of Iraq’s estimated 700,000 Christians are Chaldeans, Catholics who are autonomous from Rome but recognize the Pope’s authority.


The BBC story also notes that the recent violence in the Mosul region, which has claimed the lives of at least eight Christians and forced hundeds of families to flee, has prompted Pope Benedict to issue an appeal to Iraqi authorities to do more to help protect religious minorities.

Catholic News Service reports that Iraqi Christians “feel at a loss as to how to protect themselves from further attacks,” given that military escorts don’t seem to be helping, either.

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Comments read comments(4)
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Jan Fredericks, LPC, MA

posted May 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm

I wonder how many world leaders respect the Pope?
I wonder how many people generally respect the Pope?

report abuse


posted May 4, 2010 at 10:24 pm

That’s B16’s job. If he is lucky, he might get a response to his request. However, I doubt he has much influence with the leaders of Iraq.

report abuse


posted May 4, 2010 at 10:57 pm

OK, but kids raped and sodomized is OK? Most want no one to be hurt, but I guess Iraq won’t hurt the reputation of the church.

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Robert C

posted May 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

Benedict is an acclaimed scholar, an intellectual, well travelled and well respected with the exception of those hateful vigilantes who enjoy targeting the church. He is speaking truth to the delusional though in addressing the Iraqi leadership who are still controlled by militant Islamic factions who believe that by killing christians they will go straight to heaven and enjoy the pleasures of 70 thirteen year old virgins for all eternity.

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