Yesterday, 16 March, Palm Sunday, Pope Benedict spoke of his distress at the death of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, Iraq, who was kidnapped on 29 February and found dead during the week. The archbishop's driver and two bodyguards, each with a wife and three children, were shot dead during the kidnapping, outside of Holy Spirit church, Mosul, where the archbishop had just conducted the Way of the Cross.
The translation of the Pope's words is by Joseph G. Trabbic of www.zenit.org
At the end of this solemn celebration in which we have meditated on Christ's Passion, I would like to recall the late Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, Monsignor Paulos Faraj Rahho, who tragically died a few days ago. His beautiful witness of fidelity to Christ, to the Church and his people, whom he did not want to abandon despite numerous threats, moves me to cry out forcefully and with distress: Enough with the bloodshed, enough with the violence, enough with the hatred in Iraq! And at the same time I make an appeal to the Iraqi people, who for five years have endured the consequences of a war that has provoked upheaval in its civil and social life: Beloved Iraqi people, lift up your heads and let it be you yourselves who, in the first place, rebuild your national life! May reconciliation, forgiveness, justice and respect for the civil coexistence of tribes, ethnic groups and religious groups be the solidary way to peace in the name of God!