Echoing the words of Pope Benedict XVI about the suffering of Christians in Iraq, the director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, said this week, "The whole Church accompanies with affection and admiration all her sons and daughters and supports them in this hour of authentic martyrdom for the name of Christ."
The Vatican spokesman made his comments during the latest edition of Octava Dies, the weekly news magazine produced by Vatican Television.
“With these intense and strong words, Benedict XVI has responded to the continual cry for help of the Christian communities of the Middle East, devastated by war, especially Iraq, where murders and kidnappings of priests and their collaborators have in recent weeks become a terrible manifestation of the situation of suffering that has gone on for a long time,” Father Lombardi said.
The Pope made his comments about the situation during the meeting of the organization for aid to Eastern Churches, and he made similar comments during a meeting that same day with the patriarch of the Assyrian Church, Mar Dinkha IV.
Father Lombardi noted that the Holy Father also mentioned the situation to Bishop Luis Sako of Kirkuk (Iraq), who explained in a letter that “Christians, who do not have their own militias to defend themselves, 'are totally vulnerable’."
Father Lombardi added, "We cannot forget the martyrdom of these our brothers, defenseless in the face of violence."