Catholics in the war-torn Archdiocese of Mosul, Iraq received good news on Friday when Pope Benedict approved Fr. Emil Shimoun Nona as the new Archbishop of Mosul. The archbishop-elect will replace Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was kidnapped by militants last February and found dead two weeks later.
The Vatican's press office announced today that the Holy Father “gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Chaldean Church of Fr. Emil Shimoun Nona.”
Archbishop-elect Nona, 42, was born in Alqosh, Iraq on November 1, 1967. He entered the Chaldean Patriarchal Seminary in 1985 and was ordained priest on January 11, 1991 in Baghdad.
His pastoral experience includes serving as the parochial vicar at Alqosh from 1993 to 1997 and then as pastor until 2000.
After his seven years in the parish, Archbishop-elect Nona was sent to study at the Pontifical Lateran University, where he earned a doctorate in theology. At present he is an official for the Archdiocese of Alqosh and a professor of Anthropology at Babel College. He is also speaks Arabic, Italian, Chaldean and English.
Archbishop-elect Nona will be serving 18,200 lay Catholics, 16 priests, 1 permanent deacon and 10 religious.