The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Spain, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, has sent a letter of condolence to the Syriac Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka, after the Oct. 31 massacre that took place in the city's cathedral.
Gunmen entered the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation during Sunday Mass on Oct. 31. The attackers took the congregation of 120 hostage before killing 58, including two priests.
“We wish to convey our deepest condolences and assure our solidarity in prayer to you, beloved brother, and to all the faithful of the Church over which you preside, especially the family members of the deceased and those wounded,” Cardinal Rouco Varela wrote.
“The Catholic communities of Spain offer their prayers to the Lord for the prompt recovery of those affected and for the implementation of security measures that will allow the Christian communities of Iraq to fully exercise their right to religious freedom and live in peace,” the cardinal said.
Pope Benedict also expressed his sadness for the violent tragedy in a message to the archbishop on Nov. 2.