Auxiliary Bishop Shlemo Warduni of Baghdad has rejected the death sentence the Iraqi government has handed down against Al Qaeda leader Ahmed Ali Ahmed, who participated in the kidnapping and murder of Catholic Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul.
In response to the news of the verdict against the man also know as Abu Omar, Bishop Warduni told the SIR news agency, “We seek peace, security and reconciliation in Iraq—the things Archbishop Rahho strived for during his life and the things for which we continue working.”
“Archbishop Rahho would not have accepted such a sentence. Christian principles teach that it is not permissible to condemn anyone to death and they invite us to forgiveness, reconciliation and justice. The Church in Iraq is interested in peace, security and reconciliation in the country,” Bishop Warduni said.
The news of Ahmed’s death sentence was announced by the Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh. A date for his execution has not yet been fixed. Archbishop Raho was kidnapped on February 29 and found dead on March 13.