03 November 2010

58 killed in Catholic church in Iraq last Sunday

An al-Qaeda-linked group has claimed responsibility for an attack on Our Lady of Salvation Syrian Catholic Church in Baghdad that ended in the deaths of 58 people. Reuters reported the death toll a day after attackers stormed the Our Lady of Salvation church in the Karrada neighborhood. You can read a full report by Deacon Keith Fournier on Catholic Online.

Our Lady of Salvation Church before the attack

Among the dead were three priests. Father Wasim Sabieh and Father Thaier Saad Abdal were killed during the attack. The third priest, Father Qatin, was wounded and died later in hospital. Aid to the Church in need also has a report with a video, The Situation of Christians in Iraq. H/T to Fr Tim Finigan for the link.

The video doesn't come up on Internet Explorer in my computer but does on Mozilla. If you can't get it on my post try this link.
Pope calls on world community to help end savage violence in Iraq

By Carol Glatz

Catholic News Service

Coffins of some of the Catholic victims

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A deadly militant siege of the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad was a "savage" act of "absurd violence," Pope Benedict XVI said.

The pope urged international and national authorities and all people of good will to work together to end the "heinous episodes of violence that continue to ravage the people of the Middle East." The attack occurred Oct. 31 as about 100 people gathered for Sunday Mass.

"I pray for the victims of this absurd violence, which is even more savage because it struck defenseless people, gathered in God's house, which is a house of love and reconciliation," Pope Benedict said after praying the Angelus with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square Nov. 1, the feast of All Saints.

The following day, he sent a telegram to Baghdad as Catholics held funerals for two priests and several others among the 58 people killed in the violence.

"Deeply saddened by the violent deaths of so many faithful and of Fathers Tha'ir Saad and Boutros Wasim, I want to participate spiritually in the funeral while I pray that these brothers and sisters would be welcomed into the mercy of Christ in the Father's house," the pope said.

"For years, this beloved country has suffered unspeakable pain, and even the Christians have become the objects of savage attacks which, with total disrespect for life, the inviolable gift of God, try to undermine trust and civil coexistence," he said.

"I renew my appeal that the sacrifice of these brothers and sisters of ours may be seeds of peace and of true rebirth and so that all those who have at heart reconciliation and a coexistence marked by fraternity and solidarity would find reasons and strength to work for good," the pope said.

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