Loading
Iraqi archbishop holds out hope for reconciliation during Easter season

.- A leading voice in the Iraqi Church believes his community can still play a role in reconciling the country, despite the continued threats and attacks that have decimated its Christian population.

“The Church was born through God’s willingness to seek reconciliation with man through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” said Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Erbil diocese. “So you could say we are experts in the field of reconciliation and we may be able to help.”

“People are still suffering very much because of the instability,” he told Aid to the Church in Need in an April 26 interview. “We offer a prayer and willingness to help with the process towards reconciliation and cooperation.” Violent threats forced the cancellation of some services during Holy Week, and the bombing of a mostly-empty church on Easter Sunday injured four people in Baghdad.

In Mosul, one of Iraq's most dangerous areas, large numbers of Christians defied a local curfew and walked for up to an hour to attend a Good Friday service.

Government-enforced road closures, meant to prevent violence against Mosul's Chaldean Catholics, forced Archbishop Amil Nona to cancel the previous day's Holy Thursday liturgy. The Easter Vigil was also rescheduled due to security concerns.

Mosul, 200 miles outside of Baghdad, has become a target for Islamic extremists seeking to rid Iraq of Christians through a campaign of violence. But worshipers packed the Church of St. Paul to honor Christ's sacrifice on Good Friday.

“People in Mosul really encouraged Archbishop Amil by their willingness to participate in the service,” said Archbishop Warda. He reflected that the remembrance of God's own incarnate suffering “is always very uplifting and special in the life of the community.”

Another sign of hope for Iraqi Christians came on Easter Sunday at Baghdad's Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation.

Last October, 58 people died when gunmen stormed the cathedral and detonated suicide-bombing devices during a Sunday Mass. But last week, the church was crowded with worshipers celebrating Christ's resurrection on Easter.

The Syriac Catholic priests, who lost two of their number in last year's massacre, had to schedule three Easter liturgies rather than the single service they originally planned, in order to accommodate the surge in attendance.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: