The apostolic nuncio to Iraq, Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, has called for security guarantees for Iraqi Christians after news of the death of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, who was kidnapped on February 29.
“Up until this morning we hoped to find Archbishop Rahho alive in order to bring him back to his community. His death is now added to those of his two bodyguards and his driver, who were killed during the kidnapping,” the nuncio said to Fides news agency.
Archbishop Francis Assisi went on to say that in “Mosul on July 3, 2007, Catholic Chaldean priest Father Raghhed Ganni and three deacons were killed. After these criminal acts, the government had promised a full investigation. Let’s still hope it will be finished,” he said.
“They should also investigate this case and guarantee the security of Iraqi Christians,” he continued. “I don’t have enough information to say with certainty that Archbishop Rahho was killed or died for reasons of health. Archbishop Rahho, as everyone knew, needed constant medical care which he might not have had during his captivity. We’ll know the whole truth in a few days,” Archbishop Francis Assisi explained to SIR news agency.
“It’s clear that this would not have happened if he had not been kidnapped, and so the immediate reason is the kidnapping. Neither can we forget the bloody murders of his three companions. This is a tragic and bloody occurrence that must be denounced and condemned,” he added.