The Mensajeros de la Paz (Messengers of Peace) foundation is reporting that the captors of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul are demanding $1.8 million in ransom money to free the Iraqi prelate who was kidnapped last Friday.
In comments to Italian Bishops’ news service Servizio Informazione Religiosa (SIR), Bishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk said that, "The kidnappers have called more than once asking for ransom."
The president and founder of Mensajeros de la Paz, Father Angel Garcia, expressed his hope that the captors would relent and “for humanitarian reasons release the Archbishop of Mosul, who is man of faith and not politics and is also ill.”
He also said he called on the “governments, religious institutions and episcopal conferences of the world to follow the lead of Pope Benedict XVI and call for the immediate release of Archbishop Rahho.”
According to the foundation, Father Garcia is working to get the archbishop released, and in the coming days he will travel to Spain with five sick Iraqi children who need treatment.
Father Garcia has spent time as well with the families of the three young people killed during the kidnapping of Archbishop Rahho, who is also his personal friend. In March of 2005, the archbishop visited Spain at Father Garcia’s invitation to call for peace and reconciliation in Iraq. During his visit he was treated for heart difficulties he had been experiencing.