Loading
Benedict XVI meets with victims of Baghdad cathedral massacre
Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI

.- Pope Benedict XVI met with Iraqi Christians injured during the Oct. 31 attack on Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad.

The 26 Iraqi Christians, led by Father Giorgio Jahola, attended the Pope’s Wednesday General Audience Dec. 1. The group spoke later spoke with the Pontiff and met with Archbishop Fernando Filoni, the substitute for the General Affairs of the Secretariat of State and former papal nuncio to Iraq.

A one-year-old girl who lost her father and her three-year-old brother in the attack, as well as seven students attacked on their way to university classes, were among the group of Iraqis.

All 26 were able to make the trip to Rome with assistance from the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Vatican.  The survivors of the attack—three children, 16 women and seven men—received medical treatment at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital.

During their exchange with the Holy Father, they thanked him for the medical attention they received and for his words of comfort. They also shared photos of loved ones who lost their lives in the massacre that killed 58.

Fr. Jahola recalled the two priests who died offering their lives in exchange for the faithful present in the church. He also expressed regret that investigations into the attack have not yielded results, reported the Vatican's semi-official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

“In order to defend the cause of Iraq, we need sensible and honest lawyers who will investigate the errors committed against the Iraqi people,” he said. “No one has investigated the causes of these latest attacks … making us think that Iraqi officials are accomplices in this tragedy.  After the attack, the church was closed.  No one could enter the next day because they were cleaning it.  They erased all the signs of the tragedy.  We want answers,” the priest said.

On Oct. 31, gunmen linked to al-Qaida took over 120 faithful hostage at the Syriac Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation during Mass.

After the Iraqi military raided the church to free the hostages, over 58  people, including two priests, were killed.

Pope Benedict lamented the disaster after he prayed the Angelus on Nov. 1. He condemned the “savage” attack and offered prayers for the victims.

“I pray for the victims of this absurd violence, even more ferocious in that it has been inflicted upon defenseless people gathered in God's house, which is a house of love and reconciliation,” the Pope said.

“I express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, now stricken again, and I encourage its pastors and faithful alike to be strong and firm in hope.”


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?)

Featured Videos

A state without territory elects new government
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Jul
24

Liturgical Calendar

July 24, 2014

Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Gospel
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 2: 1-3, 7-8, 12-13
Gospel:: Mt 13: 10-17

Saint of the Day

St. Charbel Makhlouf »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:10-17

Homily
Date
07/24/14
07/23/14
07/21/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: