Pope makes strong appeal to end Iraq violence
“He was an example of a beautiful dedication to Christ, the Church and his people who, despite numerous threats, he would not abandon,”
March 16th, 2008 Iraq (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI made a strong heartfelt appeal for an end to the violence in Iraq, three days after the “tragic death” of the Chaldean Catholic Church archbishop of Mosul.
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church also remembered Paulos Faraj Rahho, 65, an archbishop of the Chaldean Catholic sect in Iraq who was kidnapped two weeks ago and whose body was found Thursday in the outskirts of Mosul , about 370 kilometres (230 miles) north of Baghdad .
“He was an example of a beautiful dedication to Christ, the Church and his people who, despite numerous threats, he would not abandon,” said the pope.
Rahho, 65, was kidnapped during a shootout in which three of his companions were killed, as he returned home after mass in Mosul on February 29.
The US embassy in Baghdad and the American military blamed Al-Qaeda for the archbishop’s death.
Iraq ’s Christians, with the Chaldean sect by far the largest community, were said to number as many as 800,000 before the 2003 invasion.