Patriarch of Bagdad overjoyed by freeing of Italian hostages

.- In an interview with the Catholic missionary news service AsiaNews, the Patriarch of Bagdad expressed his joy at the liberation of Italian hostages in Iraq, but he prudently avoided making any comments about reports that the Catholic Church played a key role in the rescuing. “We thank the Lord with all our heart for the liberation of the Italian hostages on the eve of the Feasts of the Most Holy Sacrament and the Sacred Heart,” said His Beatitude Emmanuel Delly, Patriarch of Bagdad.

On Tuesday the Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed the news of the release of the 3 Italian hostages, kidnapped April 10th along with Fabrizio Quattrocchi, who was killed April 15.  The rescue operation was carried out in conjunction with US Special Forces.

“We are very pleased by this positive outcome.  As always we put our trust in God and pray that his will be done always,” the Patriarch added.

Asked by AsiaNews whether the Catholic Church in Iraq played a role in the liberation, as some Italian reports suggest, the Patriarch responded, ““I prefer not to comment on that”.

According to Italian media, during the kidnapping, Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad Shlemon Warduni, had made a series of contacts in the Shi’te and Sunni communities aimed at obtaining the release of the hostages. 

“We must all do whatever is possible to bring peace and security to Iraq.  Pray for us,” the Patriarch said.

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