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ICC Note: Formerly this same Cardinal was outspoken in regards to attacks on Iraq ’s Christians as part of a pattern of persecution. Why he is changing his tune we don’t know but it might “discretion is the better part of valor”

Iraq Cardinal: Christians Not Singled Out for Attack

By Aseel Kami

Iraq/Islam (for the full story, go to Reuters) The spiritual leader of Iraq’s Catholics said on Tuesday that a recent wave of bomb attacks on churches in Baghdad and Mosul was aimed at showing Iraq was not at peace rather than singling out Christians for persecution.

“This act was not specifically against Christians. The aim was to convince the world that so far there is no peace and security in Iraq ,” said Emmanuel III Delly, the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad , adding that he forgave the perpetrators.

In a single hour on Sunday attackers bombed two churches, a convent and a church-run orphanage in the northern city of Mosul and three churches and a convent in Baghdad , Delly told Reuters in an interview at his guarded compound in western Baghdad .

The cardinal held Sunday mass in one of the Baghdad churches just two hours before it was bombed. He said the Baghdad churches suffered material damage but no one was injured as the buildings were empty at the time.

The attacks occurred on Epiphany, an important holiday for Christians in Iraq .

Delly, who opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq , criticized the Shi’ite Islamist-led Iraqi government last May for failing to stop the persecution of Christians, but has sounded more conciliatory in recent media interviews.

(Writing by Ross Colvin, editing by Tim Pearce)