Beliefnet News

Associated Press – March 17, 2008
VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI urged Iraqi Christians on Monday to find the strength to keep working for a peaceful future after the death of the kidnapped Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul.
Benedict celebrated a memorial Mass in a Vatican chapel in honor of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho. His body was found last week near the northern city of Mosul, from where he had been abducted on Feb. 29.
Benedict has called Rahho’s death an “inhuman act of violence” that offended human dignity.
On Monday in his homily, Benedict called Rahho a man of peace and dialogue who paid particular attention to the poor and handicapped in his flock.
“Let his example support all Iraqis of goodwill – Christians and Muslims – to work for a peaceful co-existence, founded on human brotherhood and reciprocal respect,” Benedict said.
Benedict has consistently criticized attacks against Iraqi Christians by Islamic extremists, and Rahho’s death appears to have had a strong impact on him. On Sunday, in denouncing the death and the five-year-old Iraq war, Benedict issued one of his strongest appeals for peace yet.
“Enough with the slaughters. Enough with the violence. Enough with the hatred in Iraq!” Benedict said to applause at the end of Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus