Rome, Italy, Nov 17, 2003 / 22:00 pm
Speaking to the Fides news agency, Father Denka H. Toma, Superior General of the Antonian Order of St. Ormizda of the Chaldeans—the only chaldean religious order present in Iraq—called on the international community to avoid letting the country become another Palestine.
“We do not want Iraq to be another Palestine! No state, a nation left at the mercy of terrorist groups and its people dying of hunger!” he said. 42 year-old Father Denka, who is the superior for 45 monks dedicated to active and contemplative life, said, “We are uncertain, we stand at the centre of a ford: the dictatorship is ended we have yet to enter a new political season. We must find the way out of this tragic situation in which terrorism and insecurity move freely.” Referring to the attack on the Italian military post, Father Denka said, “We are deeply grieved. In Nassirya the Italians are playing an important role, they are working to restore order and peace in the territory.
Their relation with the local people is good. We have no idea who carried out the attack, but I think they are people loyal to Saddam or terrorists infiltrated in Iraq after the war, because the frontiers were open for a long time”.“Most people are not satisfied with the situation,” he said. “They are grateful to the Americans for liberating Iraq from the dictatorship, but today, six months after the war ended, the people lament lack of social, civil and economic reconstruction.” Father Denka emphasized that ““In all these years of war, violence, hunger we have remained at the side of the people and we remain today. The Chaldean Catholic Church is support and comfort for all, also for many non Christians.”
“Today the Chaldean monks are a real consolation for the people: without them many more would have emigrated. The monks visit families, they pray with the young people, the teach children, giving great testimony of faith. Every Chaldean Christian family prays every day that God will grant our country a future of peace,” he concluded.